AP Pro32 ballot from Kaufman

AP Pro32 ballot from Kaufman
October 16, 2012, 4:06 pm
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Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Ira Kaufman of Tampa Tribune:

Week 7

IRA KAUFMAN (Tampa Tribune)

1. Atlanta Falcons - After inventing new ways to win every Sunday, the unbeaten Falcons deserve a week off.

2. Baltimore Ravens - Their Super Bowl road will be tougher without unquestioned leader Ray Lewis.

3. New York Giants - Another impressive win at Candlestick shows they still have the right stuff.

4. Green Bay Packers - Folks, that's the Aaron Rodgers who ran away with the league's MVP award last season.

5. San Francisco 49ers - When the ground game becomes an afterthought, they're vulnerable.

6. Chicago Bears - The growl has returned to a defense allowing only 14 points per game.

7. Houston Texans - Don't underestimate the impact of Brian Cushing's loss on Wade Phillips' defense.

8. New England Patriots - Even Tom Brady can't win shootouts every week with a defense this suspect.

9. Seattle Seahawks - This young defense will punish you, especially with a home crowd roaring its approval.

10. Denver Broncos - A welcome week off to recover after a Monday night comeback for the ages.

11. Minnesota Vikings - A previously sturdy defense had no answers for Robert Griffin III in the nation's capital.

12. Washington Redskins - Averaging 30 points per game can make up for a lot of deficiencies.

13. Miami Dolphins - It's not always pretty, but Joe Philbin has these guys ready to play every week.

14. Philadelphia Eagles - The pass rush has vanished, and Andy Reid's ticking clock is getting louder.

15. Detroit Lions - A big comeback in Philly should give them confidence heading into Soldier Field.

16. Dallas Cowboys - Embattled Jason Garrett will have to answer for the 13 penalties that helped do them in at Baltimore.

17. Cincinnati Bengals - Mike Zimmer's defense has taken a major step back from its 2011 playoff form.

18. San Diego Chargers - Did you see Norv Turner's postgame news conference? Dead man walking.

19. Arizona Cardinals - That 4-0 start provided the Cardinals with a cushion. They're going to need it.

20. New York Jets - If these guys are serious about winning the AFC East, they need to show up at Foxborough.

21. New Orleans Saints - The NFL's No. 1 passing attack may have found its mojo.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Warren Sapp was a year too early. Now, the Steelers look old and creaky.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - A week after frustrating Brady Quinn, the Bucs step up in class against Drew Brees.

24. Buffalo Bills - When all else fails, the Bills can run the football darned well.

25. St. Louis Rams - All of a sudden the Rams find themselves stuck at the bottom of a very competitive NFC West.

26. Carolina Panthers - The dreary Panthers need a spark, and it's up to Cam Newton to provide one.

27. Indianapolis Colts - That euphoria after rallying past the Packers didn't last very long, did it?

28. Tennessee Titans - A battered defense finally showed some pride in upsetting the Steelers.

29. Cleveland Browns - After 11 consecutive losses, the bullied Browns have found a reason to believe.

30. Oakland Raiders - As bad as the Raiders have been, they're not out of the AFC West race.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - Two more giveaways for the NFL's turnover masters as Romeo Crennel stews on the sidelines.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - Last in offense, 29th in defense and first in line for the top pick in the 2013 draft.



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