AP Pro32 ballot from Lynch

AP Pro32 ballot from Lynch
October 23, 2012, 4:26 pm
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Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter John Lynch of Fox Sports:

Week 8

JOHN LYNCH (Fox Sports)

1. Atlanta Falcons - Everyone is talking about all that is wrong with the 6-0 Falcons and there are some things that need fixing. To me they aren't the best team in the NFL right now, but their 6-0 record has earned them the No. 1 spot.

2. Houston Texans - After a big disappointment vs. the Packers, the Texans did what good teams do. They RESPONDED with a smackdown on the Ravens.

3. New York Giants - I had the G-Men No. 1 in my preseason poll and they are starting to look like that team to me. They withstood a strong effort from RG3 and the Redskins and in the fourth quarter, Eli did what Eli does, WIN!

4. Chicago Bears - You can talk about how old this defense if you want. However, it's time to start focusing on how great they have been this year.

5. San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers respond, winning a tough fought division game vs. the Seahawks.

6. Green Bay Packers - The Pack and their QB are getting hot. Now they have to attempt to stay hot without one of their studs CB/S Charles Woodson.

7. New England Patriots - The Pats prevailed against a pesky Jets team. They have to start to assert themselves defensively to be able to contend at the end.

8. Baltimore Ravens - The loss of their emotional leader and their best corner proved too much and the Texans let them know it.

9. Denver Broncos - To make the big run that a lot of people - including me - feel they're about to make, the defense needs to start playing like they did during that second half in San Diego. Fast starts are a must to do that consistently as this D is built to thrive with leads.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers - The offense is improving and the defense starting to play better. Troy Polamalu needs to not rush himself back as they need him in November and December.

11. Seattle Seahawks - They came up a little short against the 49ers, but this defense in Seattle is for real.

12. Philadelphia Eagles - Did they fix their problems during the bye week? We shall see if new DC Todd Bowles can ignite a talented D and if Michael Vick can start to protect the football.

13. Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings need to start putting it all together. When they do that they are a good football team.

14. Washington Redskins - RG3, RG3, RG3, RG3. I'm a believer! So are the New York Giants. They are undermanned on defense and that will hold them back in 2012.

15. Dallas Cowboys - If the Cowboys offense can start putting it together, they have a chance as the Rob Ryan led defense is playing good ball.

16. Arizona Cardinals - Is this team fading? Kevin Kolb must return healthy and the offense needs to strive for balance so that they can keep him healthy.

17. San Diego Chargers - Leadership is critical right now. A loss like the one they had to Denver can ruin a team if they let it. They can't let it!

18. Miami Dolphins - The improvement Tannehill is making is remarkable considering the lack of weaponry surrounding him. HC Joe Philbin is doing a respectable job with this team.

19. New Orleans Saints - QB Drew Brees is playing great. The offense stuck committed to running the ball enough vs. Tampa and that makes Brees even better. Their defense is not good, but improving.

20. New York Jets - As I said last week, whenever you "write" the Jets off, Rex has them come out smoking. They gave the Pats all they could handle but fell short.

21. St. Louis Rams - They fight every week. I like that.

22. Detroit Lions - A tough division loss to the Bears got tougher when they lost WR Nate Burleson to a broken leg.

23. Cincinnati Bengals - Back-to-back division losses as this team on the slide.

24. Indianapolis Colts - The Colts are 3-3. QB Andrew Luck can play.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sloppy loss to the Saints. The defense has been good, except when they face really good QB's, i.e. Eli Manning, RG3, Drew Brees. That's a problem. The offense and QB Josh Freeman are becoming the explosive group they are capable of being.

26. Tennessee Titans - Does QB Jake Locker return as the starting QB when healthy? Back-to-back W's by QB Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans begs the question.

27. Buffalo Bills - Players calling out players for lack of effort is not a good thing and it's happening in Buffalo.

28. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders have found a little spark with the no-huddle offense.

29. Carolina Panthers - The QB needs to grow up. On the field and in his press conferences. Passing the buck is not leadership, Cam.

30. Cleveland Browns - The best news in Cleveland is that Jimmy Haslam was approved as the owner.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - Who would have thunk it? The Chiefs at No. 31.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - A tough season just got tougher with MJD possibly lost for the year.



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