Texans 1st, Falcons, Pats tied for 2nd in AP Pro32

Texans 1st, Falcons, Pats tied for 2nd in AP Pro32
December 4, 2012, 5:14 pm
Share This Post

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster waves to fans as he leaves the field after their 24-10 win over the Tennessee Titans in an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. With the win, the Texans clinched their second straight playoff berth, a franchise-record 11th win this season, and their first season sweep of The Titans. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

(APWF)

NEW YORK (AP) An NFL version of No. 1 vs. No. 2 is set for Monday night when the Houston Texans visit the New England Patriots.

The Texans remained first in the AP Pro32 power rankings Tuesday, while the Patriots inched up two spots into a second-place tie with the Atlanta Falcons.

Houston received eight first-place votes and 376 points in balloting by The Associated Press' panel of 12 media members who regularly cover the league. The Texans (11-1) are first for the fourth straight week.

New England (9-3) and Atlanta (11-1) each had 364 points; the Patriots received three first-place votes, the Falcons one.

``We will find out all we need to know about this team when they visit New England on Monday,'' said the Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei, who had the Texans first and the Patriots third on his ballot.

``Had impressive win in Chicago. Can they get one in New England?'' asked Clifton Brown of Sporting News, who had the Texans fifth and the Patriots first.

The Texans clinched a playoff spot with last week's win over Tennessee, while the Falcons clinched the NFC South and the Patriots the AFC East over the weekend.

New England has made a steady climb up the rankings thanks to a six-game winning streak.

``Hard to keep out of the top spot when all you do is win,'' ESPN's Chris Berman said.

``Still don't trust the defense,'' noted Rich Gannon of CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, ``but they do have Brady and the No. 1 offense that's averaging 36 ppg.''

Denver is up a spot to fourth after clinching the AFC West with its seventh straight win. San Francisco slips three spots to fifth after an overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams.

``They can run. They can play defense. They have Peyton Manning. And they can't lose,'' said Clark Judge of CBSSports.com. ``Yeah, I'd say the Broncos are complete.''

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News noted the Texans and Broncos are the most balanced teams in the league because they are the ``only teams that rank in the top 10 in both offense and defense.''

The New York Giants dropped a spot to eighth after a 17-16 loss to Robert Griffin III and Washington on Monday night, with the Redskins up two places to 14th. The Giants are the highest-ranked 7-5 team and are ahead of two 8-4 teams - Chicago (ninth) and Indianapolis (10th).

The defending Super Bowl champion Giants have a one-game lead over Dallas and Washington in the suddenly tight NFC East race.

``The Giants have been very inconsistent and to me it starts up front on both sides of the ball,'' said John Lynch of Fox Sports. ``This D-line that has been so feared and integral to their success and championships in recent years needs to start dominating!''

Pittsburgh, in a playoff fight with Baltimore and Cincinnati, improved three spots to 11th with a win over the Ravens.

``They likely salvaged their season in an unlikely venue - Baltimore,'' noted Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Kansas City, with an emotional win over Carolina, moved up two places from last to 30th. Jacksonville fell to 32nd.

---

Follow Richard Rosenblatt on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/rosenblattap

---

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

Texans - Team News
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
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins (hand) is probable for Week 7. The Texans listed Hopkins on the injury report, but his status was never in doubt. He'll be a WR3 for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 18 2:54PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Monday night's game against the Steelers. Foster was limited on Thursday, but practiced in full the last two days. He should have another heavy workload against a Steelers defense that's allowing 4.4 yards per carry...
Oct 18 2:48PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was upgraded to full in Saturday's practice and is listed as probable for... Johnson is good to go for Monday night's matchup with the Steelers. He's Rotoworld's No. 15 receiver this week.
Oct 18 2:39PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against... Clowney got in two limited practices this week, but said he still "can't run laterally." He could be held out in an attempt to get fully healthy for Week 8. If...
Oct 18 2:20PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) returned to practice Friday. It was Clowney's first practice since undergoing knee surgery in Week 1. He's expected to be a game-time decision for Monday night. Clowney will likely be on a limited snap...
Oct 17 6:08PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (groin) was upgraded to full in Friday's practice. Foster suffered a groin injury in last Thursday's loss to the Colts, but his Week 7 status isn't in doubt. He should be fine for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 17 6:02PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) remained limited in Friday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's practice reps, but he's expected to play on Monday night. Johnson is Rotoworld's No. 15 receiver this week.
Oct 17 5:53PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins is listed on the Week 7 injury report with a hand issue, but is practicing in... Hopkins must have tweaked something in last week's loss to the Colts. It won't affect his WR3 status for Week 7.
Oct 16 4:22PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Thursday's practice. The Texans have made a habit of limiting Johnson's practice reps, but he hasn't been limited in games. He'll be a WR2 for Monday's game against the Steelers.
Oct 16 4:20PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Thursday's practice with a groin injury. It's a new ailment for Foster, but it doesn't appear to be anything that's going to cast doubt on his status for Monday night's game against the Steelers. It's never wise to...
Oct 16 4:19PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will be a game-time decision for Monday's tilt with the... "It's getting closer to game time and we'll know better as we move closer to game time," coach Bill O'Brien said Thursday. "If he were to play against...
Oct 16 3:41PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Coach Bill O'Brien said OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) has a 50-50 chance of returning to the... The Texans and Steelers play on Monday night. Clowney has been sidelined since going down with a torn meniscus in the season opener. J.J. Watt is single-handedly carrying...
Oct 15 9:28AM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is targeting Week 7 against the Steelers to return. Clowney is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The first overall pick in May's draft would add a needed edge presence with J.J. Watt wreaking havoc up front....
Oct 10 2:32PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed three times for 22 yards in Houston's Week 6 loss to the Colts. Blue was only called on when all-world workhorse Arian Foster needed a breather. Blue is a pure handcuff. He has no standalone value.
Oct 9 11:49PM Read More