- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune:

Week 9

DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)

1. New York Giants _ How would an Eli Manning-Peyton Manning Super Bowl strike you?

2. Atlanta _ When everyone was busy watching Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, Matt Ryan was the best passer in the first half of the NFL season.

3. Chicago _ Their offense has been all promise, no payoff. Unless Jay Cutler and company start putting together more scoring drives, the Bears can’t keep it going.

4. Houston _ They will get a chance to show Mario Williams how much he is missed Sunday

5. San Francisco _ If they can keep Alex Smith playing like he played Monday, look out.

6. Green Bay _ They are managing to tread water through some injuries _ that’s the sign of a strong team.

7. New England _ After the bye, the Patriots could be ready to embark on their annual second half tear.

8. Baltimore _ No truth to the rumor that Joe Flacco is going to play both ways in order to do for the Ravens defense what he has done for their offense.

9. Denver _ Looks like they should keep getting better and run away with the AFC West.

10. Minnesota _ They cannot be as bad as the team we saw last Thursday. Can they?

11. Miami _ Joe Philbin is an early candidate for coach of the year and the Dolphins are the NFL’s surprise team so far.

12. Pittsburgh _ What does it tell us when more people are talking about the uniform than the team?

13. Indianapolis _ The Colts are not a bad football team. And with Vick Ballard, they might not be a bad high jump team either.

14. Detroit _ If anyone can find Calvin Johnson, please let Matthew Stafford know where he is.

15. Seattle _ If you judged them strictly by their road record (1-4), they’d be at the bottom of these rankings.

16. Dallas _ They remain a scary team to play. And a scary team to coach, apparently.

17. Arizona _ If history is a guide, the Cardinals, who started 4-0 and then lost four straight, are due for a four game win streak.

18. Washington _ Injuries on both sides of the ball have impacted this team to a significant degree.

19. Philadelphia _ It’s difficult to envision Nick Foles saving the season for the Eagles.

20. Tampa Bay _ They might not be Super Bowl bound, but you can see progress under first year coach Greg Schiano.

21. San Diego _ They have lost three straight and San Diego is starting to look for scapegoats.

22. Cincinnati _ Three straight losses have the Bengals reeling, but they can’t be counted out just yet.

23. New Orleans _ Steve Spagnuolo would like a magic wand. Or a pass rush. Or some run defense. Or some decent coverage.

24. St. Louis _ They can blame what happened Sunday on the fish and chips. Or on Tom Brady.

25. Buffalo _ Maybe they had time during their off week to fix some of the leaks in their defense.

26. New York Jets _ Rex Ryan barely is recognizable without being cocky. But he has little to be cocky about these days.

27. Tennessee _ Mike Munchak says Jake Locker is not “a long ways away.” The Titans, however, may be.

28. Oakland _ Don’t look now but the Raiders have won two straight. Never mind that the teams they beat were the Jaguars and Chiefs.

29. Cleveland _ Trent Richardson and stingy defense are a pretty decent combination.

30. Carolina _ They may be one of those teams that will play tough almost every week but find a way to lose the game.

31. Kansas City _ This team could use a shakeup. Is trading Dwayne Bowe the answer?

32. Jacksonville _ The Jaguars are feisty, but they need playmakers to step up.


Online: http: //pro32.ap.org/poll and http: //twitter.com/AP_NFL

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