AP Pro32 ballot from Kirwan
Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com:
PAT KIRWAN (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com)
1. Atlanta Falcons - No team is more scrutinized than the Falcons. Until they win a few playoff games I could put them down at No. 6 and no one would say a thing. They have 13 wins and deserve regular season recognition.
2. Denver Broncos - As expected the Broncos have become a scoring machine that also has good pass rushers. Still a chance they are the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
4. Seattle Seahawks - Nobody wants to play this team after scoring 150 points in three games. The probable loss of Richard Sherman will have an effect, but for now they are riding high.
5. Houston Texans - How can a team with home field advantage throughout the playoffs lose a game at home to Minnesota? They did and that makes them beatable, even in Houston.
7. Baltimore Ravens - With all their injuries and doubters the Ravens came out and made a statement in the beating they put on the Giants.
8. San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers looked less than invincible in the beating Seattle put on them. They probably won't go back to Alex Smith, but you just wonder if his experience would help right now.
9. Indianapolis Colts - They are the surprise story of 2012. There wasn't a football person alive in August that attached playoffs to the Colts. Can they win on the road? We'll find out.
11. Washington Redskins - RG3 is turning into a legend in his rookie season and the rest of the team is reminding me of days gone by in the nation's capital. Big game against the Cowboys.
12. Minnesota Vikings - Week in and week out it's the Adrian Peterson watch instead of the Viking playoff watch. This team is pretty good and off the radar screen.
13. Chicago Bears - Nothing like a game against the Cardinals to stop the bleeding. Now can they beat the Lions on the road?
14. Dallas Cowboys - A road trip to Washington will decide their fate. There's a lot to like about the Cowboys, but they just couldn't close out the Saints this week.
15. New Orleans Saints - The most dangerous team not going to the playoffs. As Bill Cowher said to me Sunday, 'I wouldn't want to play them right now.' Too bad their last game isn't against a playoff contender so they could play the spoiler.
16. New York Giants - A major disappointment! Enough said until 2013.
17. St. Louis Rams - Jeff Fisher has done a solid job turning things around at the Rams. They could finish with a winning record and that is saying something after last year.
18. Miami Dolphins - The Fish are in a rebuilding process that is going to take time. Ryan Tannehill looked better this week and needs a strong finish in New England to convince Dolphin fans he's the guy to build around.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers' story is like the Giants story a disappointment!
21. San Diego Chargers - The Chargers are in the conversation when the term underachiever is used. That being said, I could make the case the talent is overrated and there is a rebuilding process on the horizon.
22. New York Jets - The quarterback decisions destroyed what Rex Ryan had built up over three years. Sanchez is the QB for 2013 so get him some help.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Optimism ran high a month ago that this was a playoff team, but they faded down the stretch with five straight loses. Coach Schiano has more work to do than he expected.
24. Cleveland Browns - By my count the Browns have 82 starts by rookies and they won five games and played hard every week. That probably isn't enough for the front office, but two years from now we may find out keeping Shurmur was the right thing to do.
25. Buffalo Bills - The quarterback story leads the way in describing why this team only has five wins, but there's more to it than that with the defense and the offensive line.
26. Arizona Cardinals - No quarterback, no chance. Kevin Kolb has four of the five wins and this team beat New England in Foxborough, which seems like a lifetime ago. Don't get rid of Kolb until you find someone better and that may be more difficult than people believe it will be.
27. Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles are playing a lot of kids and there are positive signs for the future, but don't think the next coach is going to be an automatic upgrade from Andy Reid.
28. Detroit Lions - It's natural for players and teams to think we will start from where we left off. Every year it really is start at zero and climb the same mountain. I'm not so sure all the Lion players knew that was the case.
29. Tennessee Titans - Firing offensive coordinator Chris Palmer didn't accomplish anything except take the players off the hook. A 55-7 loss isn't Palmer's fault.
30. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders came into the season with a paper thin roster because of salary cap issues and injuries totally disabled this team that was mediocre at full strength.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars - No MJD, no chance. Forty-seven points scored in the last four games.
32. Kansas City Chiefs - The season from hell is almost over. What a shame for a team I thought could be a wild card back at the start of the season.
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