Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of

Week 15


1. New England Patriots — Their record isn't as good, but a 42-14
thumping of Houston makes the Patriots the team to beat in the AFC.

2. Denver Broncos — A win Sunday at Baltimore would go a long way
toward keeping Denver's hopes for a first-round playoff bye alive. The
Broncos would lose head-to-head tiebreakers against Houston and New
England because of early season losses.

3. San Francisco 49ers — It was the kind of physical victory that
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh cherishes. San Francisco's rushing
attack produced 117 second-half yards and wore down Miami's strong run
defense in a 27-13 home victory.

4. Houston Texans — Put the letterman jackets back in the closet.

5. New York Giants — If a 52-27 rout of New Orleans is a true
indicator, the Giants may be getting hot yet again at just the right

6. Atlanta Falcons — Maybe the Falcons will stop worrying about a lack
of national media "respect" and earn it with performances better than
the one they gave in Sunday's 30-20 loss to Carolina.

7. Green Bay Packers — Beware the Packers. Green Bay has won seven of
its past eight games and is now getting Clay Matthews and Charles
Woodson back from injuries at a critical stretch of the season.

8. Baltimore Ravens — Ravens head coach John Harbaugh had better hope
the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron results in more points
to cover for a defense ravaged by injuries.

9. Indianapolis Colts — Another close game, another Colts win.

10. Seattle Seahawks — The NFL's best home-field advantage this season
was on display once again as the Seahawks waxed Arizona, 58-0.

11. Chicago Bears — Having lost four of their past five games, the
Bears must get on track ASAP or risk missing the playoffs entirely.
Unfortunately for Chicago, Green Bay is next on the schedule.

12. Washington Redskins — Can the Redskins win if rookie sensation
Robert Griffin III is out Sunday against Cleveland? We'll find out if
the quarterback isn't sufficiently healed from a sprained knee
suffered last Sunday against Baltimore.

13. Cincinnati Bengals — The Bengals squandered too many opportunities
for touchdowns in a 20-19 loss to Dallas.

14. Dallas Cowboys — Just like Kansas City the week before, Dallas
showed impressive resiliency in the face of off-field tragedy with a
comeback win in Cincinnati.

15. Minnesota Vikings — With the way he is running, Adrian Peterson
may be able to carry the Vikings all the way into the playoffs while
breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark of 2,105 yards.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers — A 34-24 home loss to what was a slumping San
Diego squad could ultimately cost the Steelers a playoff berth.

17. St. Louis Rams — Thanks to a surging defense, the Rams remain
alive in the playoff race.

18. New York Jets — The offense is painful to watch, but two straight
wins have the Jets still in postseason contention.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Woeful pass defense is the biggest reason
behind a three-game losing streak that has bumped the Buccaneers from
being a legitimate playoff contender.

20. New Orleans Saints — An awful year for the franchise can't end
soon enough now that the Saints (5-8) are basically out of the playoff

21. Cleveland Browns — Although the Browns have won three straight
games for the first time since late 2009, how Cleveland performs
against Washington, Denver and Pittsburgh in the final three weeks
will provide a better gauge of how far along the team's rebuilding
process truly is.

22. San Diego Chargers — Norv Turner is almost certainly on his way
out as Chargers coach, but a 34-24 upset of Pittsburgh proved his team
hasn't stopped playing hard for him.

23. Buffalo Bills — Under coordinator Dave Wannstedt, the Bills have
turned their season around defensively to become one of the league's
top units over the past five games. That won't be good enough, though,
to end a 13-year postseason drought with the Bills dropping to 5-8
following a 15-12 home loss to St. Louis.

24. Carolina Panthers — After struggling for half the season, Cam
Newton has played as well as any quarterback over the past three
games. However, it's too little too late with the Panthers at 4-9.

25. Miami Dolphins — Miami's offense continues to regress with a 27-13
loss to San Francisco marking the eighth time the Dolphins failed to
gain 300 yards.

26. Detroit Lions — On the bright side for one of the NFL's most
disappointing teams, Detroit's five-game losing streak should end
Sunday against a team that has dropped nine straight contests —

27. Tennessee Titans — The latest way for the Titans to fall — getting
outscored 20-3 in the second half of a 27-23 loss at Indianapolis.

28. Philadelphia Eagles — With a 381-yard passing performance and the
game-winning touchdown toss as time expired, Eagles rookie quarterback
Nick Foles staked his claim for the starting job entering 2013 in last
Sunday's 23-21 win at Tampa Bay.

29. Oakland Raiders — As a six-game losing streak grows, it becomes
harder each week to find something the Raiders are doing well.

30. Arizona Cardinals — Freshly claimed Brian Hoyer can't do any worse
at quarterback than the two schmoes Arizona fielded in last Sunday's
58-0 blanking in Seattle.

31. Kansas City Chiefs — After an 80-yard touchdown run by Jamaal
Charles on the first play from scrimmage, Kansas City went scoreless
for the final 59:48 in a 30-7 loss at Cleveland.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars — Over the past six games, the Jaguars have
surrendered an average of 157.3 yards rushing while producing just
76.7 yards on the ground offensively. Not surprisingly, Jacksonville
is 1-5 in that stretch following last Sunday's 17-10 loss to the New
York Jets.