AP Pro32 ballot from Kirwan

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Pat Kirwan of

SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com:

Week 17

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.

3. New England Patriots – Tom Brady covers up a number of issues

on this roster and this team can beat anyone even on the road.

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.

6. Green Bay Packers – The Packers are very dangerous right now

and getting healthy at the right time. Aaron Rodgers and his

receiving weapons are too much to handle if the line can protect


7. Baltimore Ravens – With all their injuries and doubters the

Ravens came out and made a statement in the beating they put on the


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


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


10. Cincinnati Bengals – Finally an Andy Dalton-led win over the

Steelers. The Bengals defense is dangerous with that pass rush as


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


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!

20. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton has come out of his sophomore

slump, but there is still a lot of work to do. It would be a

mistake to change the coaching staff at this point.

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


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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