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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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Ruth's Chris 5 Sizzling Stats: What decided Ravens-Dolphins

Ruth's Chris 5 Sizzling Stats: What decided Ravens-Dolphins

Here are 5 Sizzling Stats, brought to you by Ruth's Chris, that helped to decide Ravens-Dolphins. 

36 -- Number of completions by Joe Flacco, a franchise record. He completed 36 of 47 passes.

381 -- The number of passing yards for Flacco on the day, his highest total of the season.

6 -- The number of points scored by Miami’s offense, the lowest total to which Baltimore has held an opponent to this season. The Ravens held Cleveland to seven points on two separate occasions, both Baltimore wins.

2 -- Touchdown receptions for Dennis Pitta, marking his first score since Week 14 of 2013. It was his first multi-touchdown game since Dec. 2012.

61 -- Rushing yards by Miami’s Jay Ajayi. His rushing average was 5.1 yards per carry, but he only carried the ball 12 times because of Baltimore’s early (and large) lead.

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Flacco-Mornhinweg meeting helps Ravens unleash offense

Flacco-Mornhinweg meeting helps Ravens unleash offense

BALTIMORE – A few days after the Ravens’ quarterback and offensive coordinator had a meeting of the minds, the team responded with its best offensive performance of the season.

Joe Flacco felt the Ravens got too conservative against the Bengals in Week 12, and told Marty Mornhinweg. The Ravens’ offensive coordinator said he hated being called conservative, and responded with an aggressive game plan that had the Dolphins on their heels in a 38-6 blowout win by the Ravens.

When it was over, Flacco had completed a franchise-record 36 passes, including four touchdown passes.  Flacco (36 for 47, 381 yards, four touchdowns, one interception) was happy. All the Ravens were happy. And perhaps Flacco and Morninweg had finally unlocked the key to finding how their offense operates best.

“One thing Marty has never been accused of is being conservative – that’s not a label he takes too kindly to, as Joe can probably attest,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “They had a little back-and-forth in one of the quarterback meetings – that was fun to watch. I heard about it; I didn’t actually witness it. But that’s what I think. Iron sharpens iron. We challenge each other, and everybody is able to do it in a way that makes each other better.”

This has been a difficult season for the Ravens’ offense.  Even with the change from Marc Trestman to Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator following Week 5, the Ravens struggled to find offensive consistency.

But against the Dolphins, the Ravens were explosive. Asked about the meeting with Mornhinweg, Flacco downplayed it, but he loved the results.

“It was a good conversation,” Flacco said. “It was all fun. It was a pretty fun conversation. It came down to the fact that I don’t think we were able to finish Cincinnati off last week like I really would have wanted to.”

The Ravens definitely finished off the Dolphins. Maybe Flacco should call Mornhinweg conservative every week if the Ravens respond like this.