Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM
NFL Radio/

Week 12


1. Houston Texans — A shaky performance especially on defense this
week giving up 36 points to the Jaguars, but the offense prevailed in
overtime. For now they keep the top spot, but there are teams on the

2. San Francisco 49ers — The win over the Bears with a backup QB was
all I needed to move them up to the No. 2 spot. Their passing game is
really starting to come alive.

3. Atlanta Falcons — Another shaky performance, but this one was by
the Falcon offense and five interceptions by Matt Ryan. Holding down
the No. 2 spot is going to be difficult if it happens again.

4. Denver Broncos — The Bronco machine led by Peyton Manning is
looking good and the defensive effort with pass rushers and the return
of DJ Williams makes them tough.

5. New England Patriots — It is going to be very tough to beat the
Patriots at home, where they put 59 points on the Colts. Aqib Talib
will help a questionable secondary.

6. Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens proved they can overcome lots of
injuries and win against good teams. I wonder what was going to happen
last week if Roethlisberger was healthy?

7. Green Bay Packers — Aaron Rodgers can put points on the board, but
the defense has lots of issues. Dom Capers does a masterful job to
cover problems up, but how far can they go?

8. Chicago Bears — The loss to San Francisco raised some serious
questions about their defense. The offensive pass protection is
starting to fall apart, and without Cutler the Bears will continue to

9. Seattle Seahawks — The 'Hawks had a bye last week, but are one
tough outfit that will run the ball on any team and play tough
defense. Russell Wilson needs to win on the road and they move up.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers — They almost beat the Ravens without Big Ben,
but then again Leftwich struggled to complete passes. If the Steelers
have to throw more than 25 times a game they are in trouble.

11. New York Giants — On a well needed bye. They better return to the
form of September or they are heading down the rankings.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Schiano has injected toughness and a
resolve into this young team that never quits. The Bucs can score on
any team right now.

13. Indianapolis Colts — It's too much to ask rookie QB Andrew Luck to
throw 50 times a game. He needs better support from the running game
and defense if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.

14. New Orleans Saints — I really should move them up even higher the
way they're playing. One former head coach said 'that's the team I
would least like to play right now.'

15. Minnesota Vikings — On a bye last week and a chance to rest AP,
who is running better than ever. Christian Ponder needs to be more
consistent if they want to make the playoffs.

16. Cincinnati Bengals — A.J. Green may be the best receiver in
football right now, Dalton has his confidence back and the defense is
back on track. A dangerous team going forward.

17. Dallas Cowboys — They probably should have lost the Cleveland
game, but they didn't. The Cowboys have an easy schedule and a lot of
home games. It will be their own fault if they don't make a run.

18. Detroit Lions — The Lions have the parts to be a very good team,
but it has yet to come together. They will win some games down the
stretch, but it looks like 2013 before the playoffs.

19. San Diego Chargers — What a frustrating season for all concerned
in San Diego. Changes probably coming at the end of the season. Philip
Rivers has to find his game and return to the great deep ball thrower
and efficient QB.

20. Washington Redskins — RG3 gives them a chance every week. The
future is bright, but the club probably needs one more year to get it
all tied together.

21. Miami Dolphins — The running game disappeared, the run defense has
been challenged and the young quarterback is going to take time to

22. New York Jets — Leave Tebow on the bench, stop talking about the
playoffs and just keep grinding away at the season.

23. Buffalo Bills — The team is not meeting expectations but last week
they looked like the team Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey are trying to
build. They could be a tough out the rest of the way.

24. Tennessee Titans — Coming off a bye and hoping Jake Locker can
spark this team. Chris Johnson is back in form, but the defense needs
to improve. The owner's frustration could be a problem for a head
coach building this team the right way.

25. Arizona Cardinals — The defense is playoff caliber and the offense
just struggles. Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley coming off the bench
for performance reasons last week was a surprise, but next week they
get Beanie Wells back which could help stabilize the offense.

26. St. Louis Rams — I thought they had enough to beat the Jets, but
of course they didn't get it done. Fisher will need a whole season to
figure out what he has to do next year to improve this roster. For now
they should be satisfied to get to six wins.

27. Carolina Panthers — There are moments when Cam Newton looks like a
superstar and there are other times he looks frustrated and the
defense has a bead on him. Expectations were too high coming into

28. Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles have landed and they will not fly
again in 2012. It is tough to watch a team penciled in for a Super
Bowl run falling this far down the rankings. Now LeSean McCoy has a

29. Cleveland Browns — There is no quit in this team and there were a
few calls in the Dallas game that turned a win into a loss. The young
players are really starting to play well.

30. Oakland Raiders — A paper thin roster, a defense that struggles a
fullback at the running back spot because of injuries and the results
are predictable. Everyone from the owner on down has to have some

31. Jacksonville Jaguars — Chad Henne put a spark into this team and
they should play him the rest of the way if they want any fans in the
seats next year.

32. Kansas City Chiefs — The lost season!