AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez

AP Pro32 ballot from Marvez
December 18, 2012, 5:36 pm
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Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com:

Week 16

ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)

1. San Francisco 49ers - We now have our answer after San Francisco's 41-34 win at New England - 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (four touchdowns) is ready for prime time.

2. Denver Broncos - It's hard to believe, but a team featuring Peyton Manning at quarterback is actually flying under the radar when it comes to media Super Bowl talk. That won't remain the case if Denver keeps its nine-game winning streak rolling into the postseason.

3. New England Patriots - San Francisco exposed that the Patriots still have significant issues with their pass defense.

4. Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons have spent much of the season bemoaning a lack of media "respect." They earned a big helping of it Sunday with a 34-0 pasting of the New York Giants.

5. Houston Texans - He won't win the award because of the traditional voter slant toward offensive players, but Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is worthy of strong consideration as the NFL's Most Valuable Player.

6. Green Bay Packers - The 2010 Packers overcame significant injuries to win a Super Bowl. This year's team has a shot at doing the same after clinching the NFC North with Sunday's 21-13 win over Chicago.

7. Seattle Seahawks - Even if they beat San Francisco on Sunday night, it's looking like the Seahawks will enter the playoffs as the NFL's most dangerous wild-card team.

8. Washington Redskins - An email I wouldn't have expected to receive four months ago landed in my inbox Monday - the Redskins are putting playoff tickets on sale. Washington fans are guaranteed the chance to use them if their team wins its final two games.

9. New York Giants - Jekyll and Hyde have nothing on the schizophrenic Giants.

10. Baltimore Ravens - Qualifying for the playoffs is the only good news lately for the injury-ravaged Ravens, who have lost three straight and are fading fast.

11. Minnesota Vikings - Eric Dickerson should be worried.

12. Indianapolis Colts - The Colts are going to make the playoffs, but a 29-17 loss at Houston gives little reason to believe they'll be sticking around the postseason for very long.

13. Cincinnati Bengals - With a victory Sunday at Pittsburgh, the Bengals will take a giant step closer toward back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1981-82.

14. Dallas Cowboys - From 3-5 to bona fide playoff contender, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo deserve praise for not letting the season fall apart while Dallas faced both on- and off-field adversity.

15. Chicago Bears - The Bears teeter on missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons. If they do, it could spell the end of head coach Lovie Smith's nine-year tenure.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers - Injuries on defense and an inconsistent running game threaten to keep Pittsburgh out of the playoffs for only the fourth time in 12 seasons.

17. New Orleans Saints - The Saints will almost certainly miss the playoffs, but they could force Dallas into the same fate by besting the Cowboys on the road Sunday.

18. St. Louis Rams - The Rams knew Minnesota was going to ride Adrian Peterson and still couldn't stop the running back from gaining a season-high 212 yards in a 36-22 loss.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Josh Freeman (five turnovers) had his worst outing since his 2009 rookie season in a loss at New Orleans.

20. Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins still aren't very good on offense, but Jacksonville was worse.

21. Carolina Panthers - The Cam Express continued rolling through San Diego with quarterback Cam Newton posting his fourth straight outstanding game in a 31-7 laugher over San Diego.

22. New York Jets - I'm pretty sure Greg McElroy is the best quarterback on New York's roster.

23. Cleveland Browns - Brandon Weeden's rough rookie season continued with a 38-21 loss to Washington, casting further doubt about whether he is a bona fide franchise quarterback.

24. San Diego Chargers - Head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith are shouldering the blame, but quarterback Philip Rivers hasn't helped matters with 22 turnovers that include a career-high seven lost fumbles.

25. Buffalo Bills - Bills fans in Toronto deserve better, eh?

26. Arizona Cardinals - Arizona's opportunistic defense and running back Chris "Beanie" Wells (three touchdowns) came to the rescue to help prevent the Cardinals from becoming the first team to start the season 4-0 and finish 4-12.

27. Tennessee Titans - Chris Johnson's 94-yard touchdown run against the New York Jets was a reminder of why he is such a special running back.

28. Oakland Raiders - There are plenty of things broken with the Raiders. But as evidenced by Oakland's 15-0 win over Kansas City, Sebastian Janikowski's kicking leg isn't one of them.

29. Detroit Lions - At least the Lions won't be finishing 0-16. That's the only good news for a club that has dropped six straight games following a blowout loss to lowly Arizona.

30. Philadelphia Eagles - The holidays have come early for Philadelphia's opponents. The Eagles have given the football away 22 times, which is tied with Kansas City for the league lead in turnovers.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Having to face New England on Sunday is bad enough. Playing a Patriots squad following its loss to San Francisco bodes even worse for the hapless Jaguars.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - A season of offensive ineptitude hit a low point with the Chiefs mustering only 119 total yards and seven first downs against one of the league's worst defenses in a 15-0 loss at Oakland.

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