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.

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In latest comeback bid, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta's confidence not a problem

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In latest comeback bid, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta's confidence not a problem

Not everyone close to Dennis Pitta was immediately sold on his second NFL comeback attempt. Will his twice-fractured hip hold up? How much is Pitta risking his long-term health?

Pitta has pondered those questions for months. But after the first week of OTA’s, the Ravens’ 30-year-old tight end remained confident he had made the right decision.

“I had to convince a few people, and I’m thankful for those who have been in my corner all along and had my best interests in mind,” Pitta said. “Like I’ve said before, I know my situation better than anyone else, and I’m confident in the decision I made to come back, and certainly there were people who wanted to make sure that I was confident in that decision. I have a great support team behind me, and we all feel good about this move.”

Pitta first fractured his hip during training camp in 2013, then again on a non-contact play against the Browns in 2014. However, Pitta says he doesn’t think about his right hip when he’s on the field. He’s also not lowering his expectations, despite not playing at all in 2015, and not playing a full season since 2012.

Pitta was one of quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite targets, catching 61 passes for 669 yards during the 2012 regular season, then adding 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns during the Ravens’ playoff run to a Super Bowl title.

Asked if he could return that level of play, Pitta suggested, “Why not?”

“No, my expectations haven’t changed from four years ago, to two years ago, to now,” Pitta said. “My level of expectation is extremely high going into this year. Like I said, I feel confident in how I can run, how I can move, how I can play and it’s just a matter of getting those reps back to where I’m confident in doing all of that. So, yes, expectations personally are very high.”

Pitta obviously wasn’t ready to end his career. If he is on the 53-man roster Week 1, it will be a terrific comeback story.

Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

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Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

If you didn't the the Pittsburgh Steelers enough already, this ought to help. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and receiver Antonio Brown decided to take in some hockey on Thursday and unfortunately, they were cheering for the local team.

On the one hand, what do you expect? They play for the Pittsburgh Steelers so it's no surprise to see them cheering for the hometown team. On the other hand, the Steelers are the team Ravens fans all love to hate so to see them supporting the chief rivals of the Washington Capitals, that stings.

Just one more reason to hate the Steelers this football season.

RELATED: SEAN PAYTON SAYS RAVENS LOSING WEEK OF OTAS ISN'T THAT BIG OF A DEAL

Sean Payton says Ravens losing week of OTAs isn't that big of a deal

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Sean Payton says Ravens losing week of OTAs isn't that big of a deal

The Ravens forfeited one week of OTAs as part of their punishment for breaking offseason workout rules (the team dressed players in full pads during rookie minicamp, which is a no-go). But don't worry guys, Saints head coach Sean Payton says that's no biggie. 

Of course a few OTA days seem like peanuts to a guy who was suspended for all of 2012, you may be thinking. But hear the man out.  

During a radio interview with PFT Live, Payton was asked about the impact of losing those sessions. 

I don’t think it’s a big deal. The reason I say that is, look, it doesn’t keep the players from lifting and running and so a week of OTAs would be three on-the-field sessions. You don’t want to lose those opportunities and, shoot, one of those opportunities you might have some type of team building experience set up. I think each team does similar things during the OTAs. There’s a lot of offense versus defense. There’s some restrictions regarding one-on-ones but the players are out there in their element, and they’re going though a little bit of a practice format for two hours. So really that equates to about six hours on the field.

Payton explained that the offseason's first phases are valuable because players return to the facility to work out and build camaraderie.

The Ravens may miss out on practice elements, but they're still getting to do what's most important at this early juncture.