Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Clark Judge of

Week 18


1. Denver Broncos — The Broncos have offense, defense and Peyton
Manning. Now, they have homefield advantage, too. That's a combination
that's difficult to overcome.

2. New England Patriots — Get ready for another Tom Brady-Peyton
Manning showdown, and the Pats will take their chances. Brady is 16-6
in the playoffs and holds a 9-4 edge over Manning in head-to-head

3. Atlanta Falcons — Now we find out about these guys. They haven't
won a playoff game with Matt Ryan, and these playoffs will be his —
and coach Mike Ryan's — defining moment.

4. San Francisco 49ers — Make Colin Kaepernick the president of the
Minnesota Vikings fan club. By beating Green Bay, the Vikes gave
Kaepernick one less playoff game to prove himself.

5. Seattle Seahawks — They're hot and they're dangerous. But they're
on the road, where they lost eight straight playoff games. That may be
a hurdle too big for even Russell Wilson to overcome.

6. Green Bay Packers — Good news: The Packers draw Minnesota for the
second time in a week, and they get them at Lambeau Field where they
beat the Vikings earlier this year and where won their 17 of their
last 19, including the playoffs. Bad news: They're 2-4 in their last
six playoff games at home.

7. Washington Redskins — RG3 has done the improbable by putting
Washington into the playoffs. Now we get to see if can beat the odds
again by solving Seattle on one leg.

8. Houston Texans — Houston, we have a problem, and it's called
gravity. The Texans are hurtling back to earth faster than Apollo 13.

9. Minnesota Vikings — Now starring in the Miracle Worker, Part II:
Adrian Peterson and Leslie Frazier.

10. Baltimore Ravens — The Colts are coming! The Colts are coming! I'm
not sure where the worst battles will be here -- on the field or in
the parking lots.

11. Indianapolis Colts — Memo to Macy's: Next time you push that
"Believe" slogan, consider Andrew Luck, Bruce Arians and Chuck Pagano
as spokesmen.

12. Cincinnati Bengals — Yes, the Bengals draw a descending Houston
club in the playoffs, but Cincinnati fans should be concerned ... and
here's why: They haven't won a playoff game under Marvin Lewis.

13. Chicago Bears — There's a reason they no longer call this place
Second City. That's what happens when Minnesota beats you to the

14. New York Giants — On behalf of the Green Bay Packers and San
Francisco 49ers, I'd like to say, thank you, New York for skipping the

15. Dallas Cowboys — Maybe it's time to realize that Tony Romo is what
he is. Dallas won't go far until or unless he changes character.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers — This is how bad the second-half of the
season was: The Steelers' best performance was turned in by Charlie

17. St. Louis Rams — Look out for the Rams for many years to come.
Jeff Fisher did a terrific job establishing a base from which the Rams
should launch a playoff bid in 2013.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — It's hard to figure out these guys. Just
when they seem like they're a playoff contender, they flop. And just
when you want to send Greg Schiano back to college they bury Atlanta.

19. Carolina Panthers — If Cam Newton is the quarterback he was the
last six weeks, the Panthers are OK. One problem: The season isn't six
weeks long.

20. San Diego Chargers — There's Philip Rivers, a young and improved
defense and year-round golf at Torrey Pines. Let the roll call begin
for head-coaching auditions.

21. New Orleans Saints — With Sean Payton back, expect the Saints to
return to the NFC hierarchy. Both have something to prove in 2013.

22. Miami Dolphins — The Dolphins have cap room, a quarterback they
believe in and a second-place finish. Consider that a start.

23. Buffalo Bills — What comes first: Buffalo in the playoffs or a
balanced budget?

24. Cleveland Browns — On behalf of the real-estate industry in
Cleveland, let me say, "Thank you for the Browns."

25. Tennessee Titans — The Titans say they want Chris Johnson back,
but Chris Johnson's not the concern here. The quarterback is.

26. New York Jets — I have $8.5 million in guaranteed money that says
Mark Sanchez is back at quarterback next season.

27. Arizona Cardinals — Forget a new coach and GM. These guys need
quarterbacks and tackles to apply for next season.

28. Detroit Lions — The Lions were 0-8 the second half of the season
and 9-19, including the playoffs, since starting 5-0 last season. Ford
better have a better idea to fix this thing.

29. Philadelphia Eagles — Once upon a time, Leslie Frazier said
Eagles' fans wouldn't appreciate Andy Reid until he's gone. Guess it's
time to stage Andy Reid Appreciation Day.

30. Oakland Raiders — Just lose, baby.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars — New Year's resolution for Jags' fans:
Please, make it Tebow Time. Now more than ever.

32. Kansas City Chiefs — It figures: The year the Chiefs have the
first draft pick there's no quarterback worth taking that high.