Seahawks still on top of AP Pro32 rankings

Seahawks still on top of AP Pro32 rankings
December 10, 2013, 7:03 pm
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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws against the Tennessee Titans during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


The Seattle Seahawks are still the clear favorite in leading the Associated Press power rankings, with commanding home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs there for the clinching with a couple of wins.

The San Francisco 49ers served notice, though, that they haven't disappeared. Thus, after a grind-it-out NFC West division victory by the 49ers over the Seahawks on Sunday, the top of the NFL is a little more crowded.

After two straight weeks as a unanimous first choice by the 12-member panel of media regularly covering the league, the Seahawks (11-2) received 10 first-place votes this time. The Denver Broncos (11-2) got the other two and came in second, in results released on Tuesday.

ESPN analyst Herm Edwards and reporter Jeff Legwold switched their first-place selections this week.

''Everyone needs to stop saying Peyton Manning can't play in the cold. The Broncos scored 51 points,'' Edwards wrote of Denver's lopsided win over the Tennessee Titans, the third 50-point game of the season by Manning and the Broncos.

The Seahawks lost their unmatched hold on the NFL's best record. Only 43 points separate them from the 49ers (9-4), who were fifth.

''Still may be the most balanced team the league has to offer at the moment,'' Legwold said.

The New Orleans Saints (10-3) moved back up two spots to third after a decisive victory over division foe Carolina. The New England Patriots (10-3) were fourth, following their third comeback win from a double-digit deficit in a row. Doing so again without star tight end Rob Gronkowski will be a difficult feat.

''The defense has been plagued with injuries and now Gronk is gone,'' wrote Pat Kirwan of ''The only QB in the NFL that can keep this team winning is Tom Brady. This is the biggest test of his career.''

The Panthers (9-4) were sixth and Kansas City (10-3) seventh. The Chiefs broke a three-game losing streak with a blowout win at Washington.

''Chiefs will be best No. 5 seed in the playoffs in a long time,'' said Fox consultant John Czarnecki.

Rounding out the top 10: Cincinnati Bengals (9-4), Philadelphia Eagles (8-5) and Indianapolis Colts (8-5), who were beaten 42-28 by the Bengals and have dropped three of their past five games, losing those by an average margin of more than 24 points.

''What has happened to the Colts?'' wrote NBC analyst Tony Dungy of the team he used to coach.

The Arizona Cardinals (8-5) were 11th and the Baltimore Ravens (7-6) and Chicago Bears (7-6) tied for 12th. Creeping up the rankings again were the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) who were a unanimous last-place team two months ago. They're 25th now.

''No one in the AFC is hotter,'' wrote Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. The Ravens, Broncos and Patriots have also won four of their last five games, like the Jaguars.

The Houston Texans (2-11), headed for the first pick in the draft next spring, fired coach Gary Kubiak last week and were the consensus 32nd-place team, the only padding at the bottom for the reeling Washington Redskins (3-10).

Said Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune: ''Whether it's a firing or a resignation, Mike Shanahan is toast.''


AP NFL website:

Texans - Team News
Arian Foster - RB
Texans coach Bill O'Brien referred to Arian Foster (hamstring) on Monday as "day to... Foster himself acknowledged he wasn't 100 percent in Sunday's win over the Bills, managing six yards on eight carries. He'll likely continue to be limited in practice all...
Sep 29 4:20PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Following Sunday's win over the Bills, Arian Foster (hamstring) admitted he "just wasn't... Foster rushed eight times for six yards while playing on just 54.1 percent of the snaps, but did salvage his box score a bit with seven catches for 55 yards. The good news...
Sep 29 8:42AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson said the ankle injury that briefly sidelined him Sunday is "fine." "I was more scared than anything because I felt a pop, so I went in and got checked," Johnson said. We never like to hear about pops, but Johnson did come back...
Sep 28 5:37PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught three passes for 28 yards in Week 4 against the Bills. He was targeted five times. Graham is on pace for just 36 catches and 380 yards this season, but should be more involved going forward now that he's healthy. He was used in...
Sep 28 5:25PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue had nine carries for nine yards in Week 4 against the Bills. With Arian Foster playing through a hamstring injury, Blue was used in a committee and finished with more carries. He added two catches for 16 yards on three targets. Blue...
Sep 28 5:22PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 4 win over... Hopkins beat Corey Graham for a 35-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. He finished with just six targets despite Andre Johnson missing time with an ankle injury....
Sep 28 5:03PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster totaled 61 yards on 15 touches in Sunday's Week 4 win over Buffalo. Foster was held to six yards on eight carries, but was targeted 10 times by checkdown artist Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was clearly running at half-speed and looked sluggish...
Sep 28 4:07PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 25-of-37 passes for 268 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions... Fitzpatrick's only notable play was a 35-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins at the end of the first half. He managed the Texans to a win without any help from Arian Foster or...
Sep 28 3:55PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson left Sunday's Week 4 game against the Bills with an ankle injury. Johnson came up lame on a pass in the fourth quarter and was taken to the locker room. He was able to jog off under his own power and later returned to the game. Johnson...
Sep 28 3:01PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Arian Foster (hamstring) is moving with a slight limp... Per Breer, the Texans will "monitor his hamstring early in the game, determine his workload from there." It's similar to what was reported by beat writer Tania...
Sep 28 11:40AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) is active for Week 4 against the Bills. Foster will be available for a full workload after sitting out last week. He's Rotoworld's No. 12 running back against the Bills' top-five run defense. Inactive for the...
Sep 28 10:33AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to the Houston Chronicle, Arian Foster will "definitely" play in Sunday's... The chronic hamstring issue Foster has been battling for two months is good to go. "Foster would't be active if he wasn't 100 percent. That means he'll get a full...
Sep 28 10:03AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Arian Foster (hamstring) is expected to play Sunday against... That's two positive reports on Foster within the past 12 hours. He's still likely to be a game-time decision, but all signs are pointing toward Foster starting after...
Sep 28 7:45AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
The Houston Chronicle expects Arian Foster (questionable, hamstring) to play in Week 4 against... Foster is still a game-time decision and will need to go through pre-game warmups before he's cleared. He was reportedly close to playing last week and ended up being held...
Sep 27 6:19PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is probable for Week 4. Johnson will be fine for Sunday's matchup with the Bills. He's Rotoworld's No. 12 receiver this week.
Sep 26 5:53PM Read More