Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of Chicago Tribune:
DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)
1. New England Patriots — Step into Bill Belichick's web, Colin Kaepernick.
2. Denver Broncos — They need to beat the Ravens in order to keep their hopes alive for a first round playoff bye.
3. Green Bay Packers — Mike McCarthy believes this team can be better than the 15-1 Packers of a year ago. Can the Bears make him look wrong on Sunday?
4. San Francisco 49ers — Beating the Dolphins was one thing; beating the Patriots would be something else.
5. Houston Texans — In three of their last four games, Texans have a blowout loss to the Patriots and close call wins against the Jaguars and Lions. Any question about which direction the Texans are headed?
6. Atlanta Falcons — Was loss to the Panthers a blip, or was it the start of a tailspin?
7. New York Giants — If NFL teams had no secondaries, the Giants would be No. 1.
8. Indianapolis Colts — The best teams can win games in different ways. The Colts have done that.
9. Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens defense needs a savior. What do you know, here comes Ray Lewis.
10. Seattle Seahawks — They are starting to have the look of a team you would not want to be playing in January.
11. Washington Redskins — You know things are going their way when Kirk Cousins can lead them to an overtime victory over a formidable opponent.
12. Cincinnati Bengals — Their litmus test will be against the Steelers in two weeks, but they can't overlook the Eagles on Thursday.
13. Chicago Bears — The more passes Bears receivers drop, the more the Bears drop in the power rankings.
14. Dallas Cowboys — Could they ride a wave of emotion all the way to the postseason?
15. Minnesota Vikings — They have the best one-dimensional offense in the NFL.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers — Against the Raiders, Browns, Titans and Chargers, they are 0-4. Good thing the next two games are against contenders.
17. St. Louis Rams — It's not saying much, but this is the best Rams team that St. Louis has seen in quite some time.
18. New York Jets — The fact that they may be a playoff team does not speak well to the quality of the AFC this year.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Any team that can blow a 21-10 lead with four minutes left against the Eagles is not a good bet to be playing on February 3. Or Jan. 20. Or Jan. 12, 13, 5 or 6.
20. Cleveland Browns — If the season started three weeks ago, they would be a top five team.
21. New Orleans Saints — Joe Vitt describes his team as "fragile." And the Giants did not handle with care.
22. San Diego Chargers — It might be too late to save jobs, but that was an impressive effort by Norv Turner and the Chargers Sunday.
23. Miami Dolphins — Bad news: they have dropped five of six. Good news: up next are the Jags and Bills at home.
24. Buffalo Bills — Who needs to use C.J. Spiller when you are 5-8?
25. Carolina Panthers — Cam Newton is starting to look like the 2011 version of Cam Newton. Where was this guy in September?
26. Detroit Lions — Their fifth straight loss has clinched them last place in the NFC North.
27. Philadelphia Eagles — Nick Foles has begun making his argument for why he should be the Eagles' staring QB in 2013.
28. Tennessee Titans — The Titans can write off the season to the education of Jake Locker.
29. Oakland Raiders — It might be Terrelle Pryor time in Oakland.
30. Arizona Cardinals — Fifty-eight points separated them from the Seahawks in their ninth straight loss. Change is coming in Arizona.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars — Look at the bright side, Jacksonville — only 19 days until it's the offseason.
32. Kansas City Chiefs — Getting blown out by the Browns might not do much for team morale.