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Denver rolls, keeps top spot in AP Pro32 rankings
Denver strengthened its grip on the top spot Wednesday following its 10th win in a row, receiving nine first-place votes and 381 points in balloting by The Associated Press panel of 12 media members who regularly cover the league.
The NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons (13-2) moved up two places to second with one first-place vote and 363 points. Last week, the Broncos were first by three points over San Francisco, which dropped to sixth after being blown out by Seattle.
The Seahawks (one first-place vote) were up two spots to fifth after routing the 49ers 42-13 on Sunday night.
Despite the loss, the 49ers still received a first-place vote.
Green Bay was up three spots to third after its 55-7 rout of Tennessee, while New England dropped a place to fourth after hanging on for a 23-16 win over No. 31 Jacksonville.
“If there’s any solace from an unimpressive win at Jacksonville, the Patriots also seemed disinterested in their final two regular-season games last year before reaching Super Bowl,” Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com said.
Indianapolis, which clinched a playoff spot with a win over Kansas City, moved up to 10th in a season in which the Colts started out No. 32 in the first AP Pro32 rankings.
“Can an assistant coach be named the NFL’s coach of the year? Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has put himself in that position for his interim work filling in for ailing head coach Chuck Pagano this season,” Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News said.
And yes, Arians can win the award.
Minnesota, meanwhile, rose to No. 12 this week, and needs a win over Green Bay to earn a playoff spot. The Vikings started the season 29th.
“Adrian Peterson is finally getting a little help from his friends,” Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune said.
Philadelphia began the season No. 8 and dropped three more spots to No. 27 after a 27-20 loss to Washington. The Redskins, meanwhile, went the other way, starting at No. 25 and rising to No. 9 this week.
“It’s very simple for the resurgent Redskins: beat the Cowboys on Sunday, and the division is theirs,” Bob Glauber of Newsday said. “Would be an incredible finish for a team that looked to be out of it at 3-6.”
Follow Richard Rosenblatt on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/rosenblattap
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