AP Pro32 ballot from Kirwan

AP Pro32 ballot from Kirwan
October 16, 2012, 4:06 pm
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Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com:

Week 7

PAT KIRWAN (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com)

1. Atlanta Falcons - The only undefeated team in the NFL and they have won three on the road. The defense forces turnovers and the offense capitalizes on takeaways.

2. Baltimore Ravens - After a shaky 9-point performance a week ago they put 31 on the Cowboys. Next week they play the Texans with the No. 1 AFC seed on the line. The injuries make holding down this spot very tough.

3. New York Giants - You don't go into San Francisco and win 26-3 and not move up. They played like the world champions and the pass rush came alive.

4. Houston Texans - The first game without defensive captain Brian Cushing was an eye opener. Next week tells the true tall of the 2012 Texans.

5. San Francisco 49ers - Last week I debated about the Niners as the top team in the league now they have two games (Vikings and Giants) that raise questions.

6. New England Patriots - A very tough loss to the Seahawks but their whole body of work suggests they are still an elite team. They do get a warning notice for three losses; another one and they slide.

7. Green Bay Packers - The 42 points on the Texan defense was a statement. The Packers looked like the team that went 15-1 last year and just like the Patriots they better not slide back.

8. Chicago Bears - A week off, and on a three-game winning streak. They could run off three wins coming off the bye with games against Detroit, Tennessee, and Carolina. Next week could be a big jump into the top four.

9. Seattle Seahawks - This is a dangerous team with a nasty defense and a smooth rookie QB. Big, big game Thursday night against the 49ers.

10. Denver Broncos - It is starting to come together on both sides of the ball. Once the Broncos figure out how to score in the first half they will be unbeatable.

11. San Diego Chargers - Rivers is up 24-0 this week and throws four picks. That should not happen again this season. This team can beat most teams in the NFL but they also know how to beat themselves.

12. Washington Redskins - They may be a little high in the standings but RG3 keeps sending out the message he can win in this league now. The defense is starting to adjust to the loss of Orakpo and Carriker. The Skins sit in a fragile spot and could tumble - the Giants and Steelers the next two weeks.

13. Minnesota Vikings - A solid team with four wins but a 1-2 road record. I still think they get to a winning record for the year.

14. Arizona Cardinals - Four wins keeps them in the top half of the league but their protection issues aren't going away anytime soon. Both quarterbacks better be ready to play at all times.

15. Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles are one of the biggest turnover machines in the NFL. Their 17 giveaways is second only to Kansas City and the Chiefs sit in the No. 31 spot.

16. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill is more than Dolphin fans hoped for in the draft and the defense is doing a very good job. The run game was disappointing this past week, but they are becoming a tough out. They are on a two game winning streak and lost two games in overtime.

17. Detroit Lions - The Lions got a much needed overtime win this week to at least slow down the bleeding. All indication are in place for this team to go on a run but their next two games are Chicago and Seattle.

18. New Orleans Saints - No one ever thought they couldn't score points but finally last week the defense woke up and got five sacks. Drew Brees still believes his team can turn it around.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers - The defense has given up 100 yards rushing a game over the past 22 games. The signs were in place that things are different for the Steel Curtain defense. They have too much pride and talent on offense to go down without a fight.

20. Cincinnati Bengals - All of a sudden a team that never loses to non- playoff teams has dropped two in a row. They have the talent to stay in the playoff race but it starts with the Steelers this week. In two years the Bengals haven't beaten a playoff team.

21. St. Louis Rams - Jeff Fisher is making significant progress with this team but the loss of Danny Amendola is a big adjustment.

22. Dallas Cowboys - It must be hard to be a passionate Cowboy fan. What do you see when you watch your team? Do you see talent or do you see hype?

23. New York Jets - Leave Sanchez on the field and stop the Tebow experiment.

24. Buffalo Bills - The pass rush came alive, but it was against the Cardinal offensive line that gave up 17 sacks in the previous two games. They are coming off a tough two-game road trip and get Tennessee at home.

25. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck is going to win his fair share of games as a rookie but this whole team is a work in progress.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Last week was more like the Josh Freeman I remember from 2010. In the last two games he has thrown for 627 yards. The Bucs could be starting a steady climb up the power rankings.

27. Carolina Panthers - Don't panic about Cam Newton in a sophomore slump. Give some credit to opposing defenses but also realize Newton has the talent to get back on course. The defense needs to improve or the three game losing streak the team is on will grow.

28. Tennessee Titans - The Titans said as soon as Locker is healthy he gets the starting job back. That's a hard decision considering Matt Hasselbeck just led the team to a win over the Steelers. It looks like the growing pains continue.

29. Cleveland Browns - Finally a win this week after so many close games. This young football team has a lot of fight in them. Brown fans should love the view of the future.

30. Oakland Raiders - At times this team reminds me of the Cowboys. Flashes of talent but too much frustration when they are struggling.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - Twenty-one giveaways by the offense in six games is the worst in the NFL. Maybe there are some fans that dislike Matt Cassel that can't wait to see him back on the field.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - They had a bye this week but they are 0-3 at home and have scored just 65 points in five games.

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