Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Rick Gosselin of Dallas Morning News:
RICK GOSSELIN (Dallas Morning News)
1. Atlanta Falcons - The 8-0 Falcons head to New Orleans this weekend and WR Julio Jones can't wait to hit the road. He has caught 26 passes in four road games with two 100-yard days and five touchdowns. He has 14 catches, one 100-yard day and no touchdowns in his four home games.
2. Houston Texans - The Texans sit atop the AFC because they play keep away better than anyone else. Houston leads the NFL in average time of possession at 35 minutes, 13 seconds.
3. Chicago Bears - The Bears have scored six defensive touchdowns this season. Cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings and linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher have all found the end zone.
4. San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers have allowed only six touchdown passes through eight games. Little wonder they have the best pass defense in the NFC.
5. Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens are the most penalized team in the AFC with 66 for 577 yards.
6. Green Bay Packers - The Packers are one of four teams with their scheduled bye this week, joining Arizona, Cleveland and Washington.
7. New York Giants - The Giants sit atop the NFC East with a 6-3 record but enter a difficult stretch in the schedule with four of their next six games on the road. The home games are against the Packers and Saints.
8. New England Patriots - At the season's midway point, the 5-3 Patriots are a game up in their quest for a fourth consecutive AFC East title and ninth in the last 10 years. That's dominance.
9. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning has thrown three touchdown passes in each of his last five games for the AFC West-leading Broncos.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers are reclaiming their identity as a power football team with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games by two different backs, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman.
11. Indianapolis Colts - The Colts have forced a league-low three turnovers this season, so rookie QB Andrew Luck is getting little help from the NFL's 18th ranked defense in building the 5-3 Colts into a surprising playoff contender.
12. Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks are the only team in the NFC still without an individual 100-yard receiver. But rookie QB Russell Wilson is completing an average of only 16 passes per game.
13. Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson has rushed for 100 yards in each of his last three games to surge into the NFL rushing lead with 957 yards. He has a 163-yard edge on runner-up Doug Martin of Tampa Bay.
14. Detroit Lions - The Lions now have the NFC's best offense and have won three of their last four games to resurrect themselves as a wild-card candidate.
15. San Diego Chargers - Philip Rivers knew he had to cut down on his interceptions for the Chargers to return to the top of the AFC West after a two-year absence. He hasn't - he's thrown 10 already - the San Diego is spinning its wheels as a result at 4-4.
16. New Orleans Saints - General manager Mickey Loomis is back from his NFL suspension this week but coach Sean Payton may never come back, pending the outcome of his contract talks with the Saints.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - QB Josh Freeman has not thrown an interception in the last three games. He'll take a streak of 131 consecutive passes without an interception into Sunday's game against San Diego.
18. Arizona Cardinals - How much of a beating can these quarterbacks take? Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have been sacked 41 times this season and both have missed time because of injuries.
19. Miami Dolphins - Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill hasn't thrown an interception in four games covering 98 passes.
20. Dallas Cowboys - The 3-5 Cowboys have played four playoff contenders in their last five games and lost to all four: the Bears, Ravens, Giants and Falcons.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals are closing out a make-or-break three-game homestand this weekend against the New York Giants. Thus far, it's been break as the Bengals have already lost to Pittsburgh and Denver.
22. New York Jets - The league average for completion percentage this season is 61.9 percent. The Jets are at 53.1 percent.
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Back-to-back 3-5 starts by Andy Reid have shaken the city's faith in its coach. But then back-to-back 5-3 starts would also shake the faith of this town.
24. Washington Redskins - The Redskins are 5-15 at home in the Mike Shanahan era. Maybe Dan Snyder ought to consider moving his team back to RFK.
25. Buffalo Bills - The Bills can't stop the run. They rank 31st in the NFL in run defense and have allowed a league-worst five individual 100-yard rushing games.
26. St. Louis Rams - The 3-5 Rams are starting to turn it around under new coach Jeff Fisher. But St. Louis needs more from QB San Bradford, who has thrown one TD pass or fewer in six of his eight games.
27. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders rank 30th in the NFL in rushing and now their top two runners, Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, are slowed by high ankle sprains.
28. Carolina Panthers - The Panthers have 10 sacks in their last two games, both on the road. End Greg Hardy has 4½ of them.
29. Tennessee Titans - The Titans are allowing an average of 34 points per game. They have surrendered 60 more points than anyone else in the league (308).
30. Cleveland Browns - The Browns are the NFL's worst road team with an 0-4 record. No sweat this weekend, though - the 2-7 Browns are off.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars may not be the worst team in the AFC - but they are the worst AFC team in the NFC, finishing the interconference portion of their scheduled 0-4.
32. Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have committed a staggering 29 turnovers - 10 more than anyone else this season.