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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 15

ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)

1. New England Patriots - Their record isn't as good, but a 42-14 thumping of Houston makes the Patriots the team to beat in the AFC.

2. Denver Broncos - A win Sunday at Baltimore would go a long way toward keeping Denver's hopes for a first-round playoff bye alive. The Broncos would lose head-to-head tiebreakers against Houston and New England because of early season losses.

3. San Francisco 49ers - It was the kind of physical victory that 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh cherishes. San Francisco's rushing attack produced 117 second-half yards and wore down Miami's strong run defense in a 27-13 home victory.

4. Houston Texans - Put the letterman jackets back in the closet.

5. New York Giants - If a 52-27 rout of New Orleans is a true indicator, the Giants may be getting hot yet again at just the right time.

6. Atlanta Falcons - Maybe the Falcons will stop worrying about a lack of national media "respect" and earn it with performances better than the one they gave in Sunday's 30-20 loss to Carolina.

7. Green Bay Packers - Beware the Packers. Green Bay has won seven of its past eight games and is now getting Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson back from injuries at a critical stretch of the season.

8. Baltimore Ravens - Ravens head coach John Harbaugh had better hope the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron results in more points to cover for a defense ravaged by injuries.

9. Indianapolis Colts - Another close game, another Colts win.

10. Seattle Seahawks - The NFL's best home-field advantage this season was on display once again as the Seahawks waxed Arizona, 58-0.

11. Chicago Bears - Having lost four of their past five games, the Bears must get on track ASAP or risk missing the playoffs entirely. Unfortunately for Chicago, Green Bay is next on the schedule.

12. Washington Redskins - Can the Redskins win if rookie sensation Robert Griffin III is out Sunday against Cleveland? We'll find out if the quarterback isn't sufficiently healed from a sprained knee suffered last Sunday against Baltimore.

13. Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals squandered too many opportunities for touchdowns in a 20-19 loss to Dallas.

14. Dallas Cowboys - Just like Kansas City the week before, Dallas showed impressive resiliency in the face of off-field tragedy with a comeback win in Cincinnati.

15. Minnesota Vikings - With the way he is running, Adrian Peterson may be able to carry the Vikings all the way into the playoffs while breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark of 2,105 yards.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers - A 34-24 home loss to what was a slumping San Diego squad could ultimately cost the Steelers a playoff berth.

17. St. Louis Rams - Thanks to a surging defense, the Rams remain alive in the playoff race.

18. New York Jets - The offense is painful to watch, but two straight wins have the Jets still in postseason contention.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Woeful pass defense is the biggest reason behind a three-game losing streak that has bumped the Buccaneers from being a legitimate playoff contender.

20. New Orleans Saints - An awful year for the franchise can't end soon enough now that the Saints (5-8) are basically out of the playoff picture.

21. Cleveland Browns - Although the Browns have won three straight games for the first time since late 2009, how Cleveland performs against Washington, Denver and Pittsburgh in the final three weeks will provide a better gauge of how far along the team's rebuilding process truly is.

22. San Diego Chargers - Norv Turner is almost certainly on his way out as Chargers coach, but a 34-24 upset of Pittsburgh proved his team hasn't stopped playing hard for him.

23. Buffalo Bills - Under coordinator Dave Wannstedt, the Bills have turned their season around defensively to become one of the league's top units over the past five games. That won't be good enough, though, to end a 13-year postseason drought with the Bills dropping to 5-8 following a 15-12 home loss to St. Louis.

24. Carolina Panthers - After struggling for half the season, Cam Newton has played as well as any quarterback over the past three games. However, it's too little too late with the Panthers at 4-9.

25. Miami Dolphins - Miami's offense continues to regress with a 27-13 loss to San Francisco marking the eighth time the Dolphins failed to gain 300 yards.

26. Detroit Lions - On the bright side for one of the NFL's most disappointing teams, Detroit's five-game losing streak should end Sunday against a team that has dropped nine straight contests - Arizona.

27. Tennessee Titans - The latest way for the Titans to fall - getting outscored 20-3 in the second half of a 27-23 loss at Indianapolis.

28. Philadelphia Eagles - With a 381-yard passing performance and the game-winning touchdown toss as time expired, Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles staked his claim for the starting job entering 2013 in last Sunday's 23-21 win at Tampa Bay.

29. Oakland Raiders - As a six-game losing streak grows, it becomes harder each week to find something the Raiders are doing well.

30. Arizona Cardinals - Freshly claimed Brian Hoyer can't do any worse at quarterback than the two schmoes Arizona fielded in last Sunday's 58-0 blanking in Seattle.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - After an 80-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Charles on the first play from scrimmage, Kansas City went scoreless for the final 59:48 in a 30-7 loss at Cleveland.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - Over the past six games, the Jaguars have surrendered an average of 157.3 yards rushing while producing just 76.7 yards on the ground offensively. Not surprisingly, Jacksonville is 1-5 in that stretch following last Sunday's 17-10 loss to the New York Jets.



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Ravens' Lardarius Webb: 'Winning football' comes down to little things

Ravens' Lardarius Webb: 'Winning football' comes down to little things

Safety Lardarius Webb sat at his locker at MetLife Stadium on Sunday digesting the Ravens fourth straight loss and lamenting all the things the Ravens are not doing in order to, in the words of coach John Harbaugh, play "winning football."

"It's making the tackle," Webb said, "getting off the field on third down when you're supposed to. When you make a turnover, not turning it back over."

"It's a lot of little things. We can't do those things to give them the edge."

Webb is the fifth-longest tenured Raven and one of the veteran leaders of this team. And with hints of gray in his sideburns and his beard, and with a gimpy hamstring that knocked him out of the Jets game, Webb, 31, has shown his age at times this year.

In each of the last two losses, a speedy receiver turned a short catch into a long touchdown, with the receiver each time blowing by Webb -- the last line of defense at free safety -- and outrunning him to the end zone.

First it was Odell Beckham going 66 yards with the game-winning score for the Giants in the final two minutes. Then this past week, Quincy Enunwa turned a seemingly harmelss 10-yard pass into a 69-yard touchdown.

"We can't give them big plays," Webb said. "Can't miss tackles."

Through seven games, Webb has 19 tackles and one pass breakup.

Webb's transition from cornerback to safety was one of the major defensive storylines coming into the season,  and secondary coach Leslie Frazier acknowledged that it has been an uneven season for the veteran.

"He has had some good moments, and there are some moments where I’m sure he would be the first to tell you he would like to have another chance at," Frazier said after Tuesday's bye week practice. "But he has done a lot of good things. I think it was a good move for him.

"He has a lot of range and a lot of athletic ability as well. He is still learning as he is going through the process. ... I think overall, he has done a good job at the position. I think he will get better as the season goes on."

MORE RAVENS: Harbaugh defends Flacco: 'I'm a Joe Flacco guy'

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Ravens snap count leaders like Eric Weddle, Mike Wallace can use bye week

Ravens snap count leaders like Eric Weddle, Mike Wallace can use bye week

The Ravens (3-4) are off until next week, using this weekend’s bye to get healthier and refreshed, in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Some players should be more fatigued than others. Here are the six Ravens who have played at least 400 snaps:

QB Joe Flacco – 511 snaps

Flacco played through a sore shoulder in Week 7, and his surgically-repaired knee hasn’t been an issue. Now the Ravens just need Flacco to play better.

“I feel good - just as you would expect seven games into a season,” said Flacco. “I don’t think about it (his knee) at all when I am out there. I think there are times when I say, ‘Oh man, I took a hit right there in the knee.’ But I think it has held up well, and I am not worried about it while I am out there.”

C Jeremy Zuttah – 510 snaps

Zuttah has managed to stay healthy all season, a rarity for a Ravens offensive lineman. The Ravens are going to need a healthy offensive line, Zuttah included, to get their anemic running game going, and to protect Flacco better.

S Eric Weddle - 436 snaps

Weddle remaining healthy is a key to the second half of the season. He has brought stability to a secondary that depends on him for leadership.

ILB Zach Orr - 433 snaps

Nobody wonders anymore if Orr can handle being a starting linebacker. He leads the team in tackles and his best football should be ahead of him.

LG Alex Lewis - 412 snaps

Lewis has been extremely valuable as a rookie, starting the season at left guard, and switching to left tackle when fellow rookie Ronnie Stanley (foot) went down. With Stanley and Lewis, one bright spot this season is that the Ravens have found their left side of the offensive line for years to come.

WR Mike Wallace - 407 snaps

Wallace leads the Ravens in both receiving yards (490) and touchdown catches (three). Any talk about Wallace being washed up, after subpar seasons with the Vikings and Dolphins, has been silenced.

“He has been a great addition to the Ravens’ organization,” said Ravens wide receivers coach Bobby Engram. “We studied the tape, and I think everybody in the building knew he was still a good football player.”

MORE RAVENS: Harbaugh defends Flacco: 'I'm a Joe Flacco guy'