AP Pro32 ballot from Gosselin

AP Pro32 ballot from Gosselin
December 18, 2012, 5:37 pm
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Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Rick Gosselin of Dallas Morning News:

Week 16

RICK GOSSELIN (Dallas Morning News)

1. Denver Broncos - The Broncos have a nine-game winning streak to surge to 11-3. QB Peyton Manning has had previous winning streaks of 14, 13, and 11 games in his career at Indianapolis.

2. Atlanta Falcons - Only two NFL teams are unbeaten at home this season - the Falcons at 7-0 and the Seahawks at 6-0.

3. Houston Texans - The Texans rank only 18th in the NFL in pass defense, but the opposition is completing a league-low 53.2 percent of its passes.

4. San Francisco 49ers - Only two teams managed to go unbeaten in interconference play this season - the 49ers and Falcons. San Francisco closed out its 4-0 sweep of the AFC with a victory Sunday over the Patriots.

5. New England Patriots - QB Tom Brady has now lost more home games this season (two) than in his previous three seasons combined (one).

6. Green Bay Packers - Consecutive victories the last three weeks over Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago have put the Packers in the driver's seat in the NFC North with a 10-4 record.

7. Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks rank just 16th in the NFL in offense. But you wouldn't know it by their games the last two weeks. Seattle has scored a combined 108 points in whipping Arizona (58-0) and Buffalo (50-17).

8. Baltimore Ravens - The 9-5 Ravens are starting to fade with a three-game losing streak. Two of the losses have come at home to Pittsburgh and Denver.

9. Indianapolis Colts - The surprising Colts are playoff-bound with a 9-5 record despite a defense that makes few plays. Indianapolis has forced only 10 turnovers and sacked the quarterback just 27 times.

10. Washington Redskins - Eight rookies have started at quarterback in the NFL this season but only two won their starting debuts. Both play for the Redskins - Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.

11. Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys have played in front of consecutive home crowds in excess of 90,000. They should extend that streak to three Sunday in their home finale against the Saints.

12. Cincinnati Bengals - A.J. Green of the Bengals leads the AFC with 11 touchdown catches. Green Bay's James Jones leads the NFC with 12.

13. Chicago Bears - For the 8-6 Bears to qualify for the playoffs as an NFC wild-card they would likely need to win their final two games on the road against Arizona and Detroit.

14. Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson needs to average 147 yards in his last two games to break Eric Dickerson's NFL single-season rushing record. Peterson averaged 129.4 yards through the season's first 14 games.

15. New York Giants - The Giants were strong finishers during their two recent Super Bowl seasons. Not so this year, having lost four of their last six to lose control of their own destiny in the NFC East.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers became the first team in 176 NFL games this season to play penalty-free. But the Steelers still lost last Sunday to the Cowboys.

17. St. Louis Rams - Sam Bradford has thrown for one TD or less in eight of the Rams' 14 games thus far. He also has thrown for fewer than 225 yards in nine games. St. Louis needs more from its quarterback.

18. New Orleans Saints - The Super Bowl is in New Orleans in February. But at 6-8, the Saints are already out of the playoff picture. This marks the 47th consecutive season that the host team will not play a Super Bowl on its home field.

19. Miami Dolphins - For the fourth consecutive season, all three of Florida's NFL teams will miss the playoffs. The Dolphins, Bucs and Jaguars have a combined 14-28 record. The last Florida team to make the playoffs was Miami as a division champion in 2008.

20. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton has now gone five games in a row without throwing an interception. He also hasn't thrown an interception in his last four road games.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Since winning an NFL championship in 2002, the Buccaneers have had three 1,000-yard rushers and all did it as rookies: Carnell Williams in 2005, LaGarrette Blount in 2010 and Doug Martin this season.

22. Tennessee Titans - Chris Johnson has 1,159 yards rushing this season - a phenomenal feat considering four of his starting five offensive lineman are on injured reserve.

23. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez has thrown 17 interceptions and lost seven fumbles as the Jets missed out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

24. Cleveland Browns - Rookie Trent Richardson needs 103 yards to become first 1,000-yard rookie rusher in franchise history. Jim Brown rushed for 942 yards in his rookie season in 1957.

25. San Diego Chargers - The Chargers have never replaced LaDainian Tomlinson. They have rushed for only four touchdowns this season. Tomlinson scored that many touchdowns in a single-game eight times in his career.

26. Arizona Cardinals - Speaking of a lack of punch on the ground, the Cardinals have the worst rushing attack in the NFL, averaging only 80 yards per game and 3.5 yards per rush.

27. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders make their fifth cross-country trek to play a team in the Eastern time zone this weekend when they visit Carolina. Oakland is 0-4 on those trips, having been outscored 147-63. Jet lag?

28. Detroit Lions - The Lions rank first in the NFC in offense, but have nothing to show for it. Detroit is 4-10 and sliding along with a six-game losing streak.

29. Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles have a turnover margin of a minus-34, the worst of the 14-year Andy Reid era. The previous worst was a minus-14 - and that was last season.

30. Buffalo Bills - NFL teams have scored 50 points in a game only seven times this season. The Bills have been on the losing end of two of them, falling to New England (52-28) and Seattle (50-17).

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Little wonder the Jaguars rank 31st in the NFL in offense. The Jaguars have the worst time of possession in the league this season at just 26 minutes, 47 seconds.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have scored 195 points this season - 311 fewer than the Patriots. Too bad GM Scott Pioli couldn't have brought Tom Brady with him to KC four years ago when he left.

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