AP Power Rankings: Patriots back in the top spot

BY AP • December 13, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are rounding into playoff form as usual.

Brady threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns in New England's 30-23 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. The Patriots (11-2) have won four games in a row and are tied for the best record in the NFL.

The Patriots also returned to the top spot in the AP Pro32 poll released on Tuesday.

The Patriots are back at No. 1 after receiving 11 first-place votes for 383 points from balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

''With Derek Carr stumbling in Kansas City and with Tom Brady putting up sensational numbers against the NFL's No. 1 defense, there is now a clear path to the MVP for the Patriots' quarterback ... again,'' Newsday's Bob Glauber said.

''The Patriots are also in the driver's seat for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs ... again.''

The Cowboys received the other first-place vote and slipped to No. 2 with 367 points. The Cowboys had their 11-game winning streak broken by their 10-7 loss to the rival Giants on Sunday night.

''With Dak Prescott struggling, Tony Romo supporters are out in force. Jerry Jones is turning a deaf ear ... for now.'' said Ira Kaufman of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Chiefs and Raiders switched spots to No. 3 and 4 respectively after Kansas City's win over Oakland last Thursday. Both teams are tied at 10-3 in the AFC West, but the Chiefs own the tiebreaker for sweeping the season series.

''The Chiefs' success might come as a surprise, but certainly not in Kansas City,'' said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.

''They came into this season expecting to take a step forward from last year: win the division, and secure a home playoff game, which is exactly what they are on track to do.''

The Lions (9-4) moved up two spots to No. 5 after edging the Bears, and the Giants (9-4) jumped five places to No. 6 after cooling off the Cowboys.

''(Giants) Defense dominated Dak (Prescott),'' Fox Sports' John Czarnecki said.

The Seahawks (8-4-1) slipped two spots to No. 7 after they were routed 38-10 at Lambeau Field.

The Steelers (8-5) and Falcons (8-5) remained at No. 8 and No. 9 respectively for the second consecutive week.

And the Broncos (8-5) dropped four spots to round out the top 10 and now face a tough road to get back to the playoffs starting Sunday with the Patriots.


For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

share story