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
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 8. Johnson practiced in full Friday after being limited early in the week. He'll continue to play through his ankle injury. Johnson is a mid-range WR2 for Sunday's game...
Oct 24 5:19PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Johnson doesn't need full practices at this stage of his career. He's a solid WR2 for Sunday's game against the Titans.
Oct 23 4:37PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) said he'd be surprised if he doesn't play in Sunday's game... Clowney hasn't played since tearing his meniscus in Week 1. He says he plans to "push through" the soreness that's still in his knee. If the training staff lets...
Oct 23 11:41AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted he "didn't get it to Andre [Johnson] nearly enough early"... Johnson finished with 5-77-0 on nine targets, but had just one catch for four yards through the first three quarters. After the game, coach Bill O'Brien said that Johnson...
Oct 23 8:03AM Read More
Brian Cushing - LB
Texans ILB Brian Cushing will miss at least one week with a knee injury. It's a blow to an already vulnerable Houston run defense, and a nice upgrade to Bishop Sankey's Week 8 matchup. Justin Tuggle and Mike Mohamed figure to start at inside...
Oct 22 8:32PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More

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