Quick Links

AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez

AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com:

Week 11

ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)

1. Houston Texans - I perceived Chicago as the more physical team entering last Sunday night's game. Houston's 13-6 road victory proved me wrong.

2. Denver Broncos - Further proof of how much quarterback Peyton Manning is rolling - the Broncos have scored at least 31 points each week during their four-game winning streak.

3. New England Patriots - Although a 37-31 victory over Buffalo was closer than it needed to be because of ongoing defensive issues, the Patriots still rolled to a third straight win for further separation in the AFC East.

4. San Francisco 49ers - Failing to win as a double-digit favorite usually would be considered a major disappointment, but there were mitigating circumstances. Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick was forced into the most extensive action of his two-year NFL career in place of the injured Alex Smith (concussion) and didn't do half-bad in a 24-24 tie with St. Louis.

5. Atlanta Falcons - The season-long problems rushing the football and stopping the run came back to bite the Falcons in their first loss against New Orleans.

6. Chicago Bears - Even before quarterback Jay Cutler was lost to a concussion, the Bears were far too sloppy against a quality opponent like Houston.

7. Baltimore Ravens - The AFC North front-runner will be decided in the next three weeks with the Ravens and Pittsburgh playing twice.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers are in trouble if Ben Roethlisberger is forced to miss extensive time after injuring his shoulder Monday night against Kansas City.

9. Green Bay Packers - From a player health standpoint, no team needed the bye week more than the Packers.

10. Indianapolis Colts - A true measuring stick of just how good the surprising Colts are will come Sunday in New England.

11. Seattle Seahawks - At 5-0, the Seahawks may be the NFL's best home team. The next step is transferring that mojo to the road, where Seattle is 1-4.

12. New York Giants - The Giants had their worst performance of the season in a 31-13 loss at Cincinnati. On the bright side, November is usually rough for the Giants before this team gets its act together for a playoff push.

13. Minnesota Vikings - Knee injury? What knee injury? Running back Adrian Peterson looked better than ever in his 171-yard performance against Detroit.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Undrafted rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson - who still lives at home with his mom - is one of the NFL's feel-good stories. Johnson intercepted a pass for the third straight game, returning an errant Philip Rivers throw 83 yards for a touchdown that sparked last Sunday's 34-24 win.

15. San Diego Chargers - Chargers head coach Norv Turner snapped at a stupid media question during his postgame news conference. Turner should save the anger for quarterback Philip Rivers, who remains too inconsistent for the Chargers to build momentum down the home stretch.

16. Detroit Lions - Losing to a Vikings team that was on the ropes after two straight losses and missing wide receiver Percy Harvin was a major step backward for the Lions.

17. New Orleans Saints - The Saints continue to surrender yards at a record-pace, but the defense did come through with two goal-line stands that yielded only three points in a 31-27 victory over Atlanta.

18. Miami Dolphins - Based solely upon how badly Tennessee was beaten the previous week by Chicago, it was the Dolphins who should have won, 37-3, and not the other way around. Miami instead played its worst game to date under rookie head coach Joe Philbin.

19. Cincinnati Bengals - Following four straight losses, Bengals fans had jumped off the bandwagon so quickly that not even a matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion could generate a sellout to lift the local television blackout. Had the locals known the 2012 Bengals would play their best game in a 31-13 romp over the New York Giants, it would have been the hottest ticket of the season.

20. Dallas Cowboys - Despite all the doom and gloom in October, a win over Philadelphia and favorable upcoming schedule have put the Cowboys right back into the thick of the NFC playoff race.

21. Washington Redskins - The upcoming Sunday matchup against Philadelphia should be dubbed the "Basement Bowl." The loser will assume sole possession of fourth place in the NFC East, which is where the Redskins have finished the past three seasons.

22. Arizona Cardinals - The return from the bye may not be pleasant. The Cardinals must travel to Atlanta and face an angry Falcons squad coming off its first loss of the season.

23. St. Louis Rams - Sam Bradford's strong play at San Francisco was a reminder that he still may develop into a bona fide franchise quarterback after regressing in 2011.

24. New York Jets - So much for the hope that the bye week would bring immediate improvement in the second half of the season. The Jets looked worse than ever in a 28-7 road loss at Seattle.

25. Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles keep hitting new lows in the Andy Reid era. This time, it's the first five-game losing streak since Reid became head coach in 1999.

26. Tennessee Titans - Titans owner Bud Adams should keep threatening to fire everyone if it's going to produce victories like last Sunday's 37-3 rout of Miami.

27. Carolina Panthers - By getting sacked seven times and throwing another interception returned for a touchdown against Denver, quarterback Cam Newton is doing nothing to help head coach Ron Rivera's job security.

28. Cleveland Browns - The Browns' best chance of winning Sunday against Dallas? Hope the Cowboys are overconfident after a season-saving win over Philadelphia.

29. Buffalo Bills - A 37-31 loss at New England marked the fourth time the Bills have lost this season despite scoring at least 28 points.

30. Oakland Raiders - Yes, things actually can get worse for a Raiders squad that has surrendered 97 points and 934 yards in the past two games. The surging New Orleans Saints roll into town for a Sunday matchup.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - There could be no more appropriate ending for a team that leads the league in turnovers to have a Matt Cassel interception converted into the game-winning overtime field goal against Pittsburgh.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - Rather than wait until 2013, the Jaguars should play home games in London right now. That would save local fans from having to witness the ongoing dreck being presented at EverBank Stadium.

---

Online:

http://pro32.ap.org/poll and

http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown apologized Tuesday night for streaming live video from the Steelers locker room on Sunday featuring coach Mike Tomlin calling the New England Patriots 'a--h---s' in advance of Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

Brown posted the locker room scene through Facebook Live and has since deleted it.

Ironically enough, the video also included Tomlin telling his team to "keep a low profile."

"I'm sorry for my actions and behavior after Sunday's game," Brown posted on his Twitter feed. "I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans."

"It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Tomlin, of course, has indeed been asked about the video as the Steelers try to prepare for the AFC title game at New England.

"It was foolish for him to do that, it was selfish for him to do that, it was inconsiderate for him to do that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows.

"There are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective," Tomlin added. "We will punish him, we won't punish us."

 Translation: He might take a hit in the wallet, but he's playing Sunday, and don't think for a fraction of a second he's not.

MORE RAVENS: Weighing pros and cons of bringing back Dumervil

Quick Links

Will Elvis Dumervil get his 100th career sack with Ravens, or someone else?

Will Elvis Dumervil get his 100th career sack with Ravens, or someone else?

The Ravens face critical offseason personnel decisions, including which players to bring back, and which veteran players are no longer worth the financial investment.

Here are the pros and cons regarding pass rusher Elvis Dumervil:

Reasons to keep Dumervil:

Dumervil is a proven pass rusher with 99 career sacks, and he will be highly motivated wherever he plays next season. He turns 33 years old Thursday (Jan. 19), and wants to show he has plenty left in the tank. I asked Dumervil after the season-ending game in Cincinnati whether he thought he would return to the Ravens.

“Wherever I play next season, I’ll be a beast,” Dumervil said.

Dumervil had 17 sacks in 2014, and the Ravens need pass rushers. He was never fully healthy in 2016, missing eight games after Achilles surgery.  If the Ravens release Dumervil, there’s a chance he could have a big season playing for someone else.

Reasons to release Dumervil:

The Ravens would save more than $6 million in salary cap space by cutting ties with Dumervil. There’s no guarantee Dumervil will stay healthy, or be a double-digit sack artist again. The money the Ravens could save by releasing Dumervil could be used to fill holes elsewhere.

Prediction:

My gut feeling is that Dumervil and the Ravens will part ways. Terrell Suggs is returning, and he led the Ravens with eight sacks in 2016 playing with a torn biceps. Matt Judon had four sacks as a rookie. The biggest disappointment in the pass rushing department was Za’Darius Smith, who had just one sack. However, even with Dumervil getting just three sacks in 2015, the Ravens won eight games, and had the league’s seventh-ranked defense. I think the Ravens will use the money they would pay Dumervil to address issues like finding another cover corner and an offensive playmaker.  

MORE RAVENS: Playoff winners expose Ravens shortcomings