AP Power Rankings: Broncos alone at No. 1

BY foxsports • October 4, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) The Denver Broncos are one of two teams off to a 4-0 start this season. However, they are alone at the top of the latest AP Pro32 poll released on Tuesday.

The defending champion Broncos received nine first-place votes for 381 points from balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

The Broncos used their stellar defense to shut down the Buccaneers 27-7 on Sunday.

''Who says old school football doesn't work anymore?'' Newsday's Bob Glauber said. ''The Broncos are living proof that great defense is still a formula for success. Another transcendent performance against the Bucs, and the Broncos continue to roll early.''

The Minnesota Vikings, the NFL's other 4-0 team, moved up a spot to No. 2 after beating the New York Giants 24-10 on Monday night. The Vikings received one first-place vote for 367 points.

The New England Patriots, who were tied with the Broncos last week at the top of the poll, dropped to No. 3 after losing 16-0 at home to Buffalo. The Patriots received two first-place votes for 357 points.

The good news for the Patriots is that Tom Brady will return from his ''Deflategate'' suspension and face the Cleveland Browns in his regular-season debut on Sunday. The Browns are the league's only winless team.

''Tom Brady is a welcome sight for the Patriots, who were shut out for the first time at home in 23 years,'' Glauber said.

''His four-game suspension from Deflategate is over, and now the poor Browns get to face a quarterback with a chip on his shoulder the size of the skyscraper at 345 Park Ave. - the place where (Commissioner) Roger Goodell works.''

The Philadelphia Eagles, the only other unbeaten team in the league, remained after No. 4 after having a bye week.

The Seattle Seahawks moved up a spot to No. 5 after beating the New York Jets 27-17. And the Pittsburgh Steelers moved to No. 6 after routing the Kansas City Chiefs 43-14 on Sunday night.

The Green Bay Packers slipped two spots to No. 7 and will host the New York Giants coming off their bye week.

The Atlanta Falcons jumped from No. 17 to No. 8 after routing Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 48-33.

''A year before heading into their plush new home, the high-scoring Falcons are moving on up, led by revitalized Matt Ryan,'' said Ira Kaufman of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Oakland Raiders went from No. 16 to No. 9 after rallying past the Baltimore Ravens, who dropped to No. 10.

''Khalil Mack said the big road win against the Ravens proved Oakland is a `contender,''' said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback. ''They certainly look like a team that is growing into its high expectations.''


Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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