Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com:
ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)
- Denver Broncos - Eleven straight victories and Houston's late-season collapse brought the Broncos the AFC's top playoff seed.
- Atlanta Falcons - As long as defensive end John Abraham (ankle) and cornerback Dunta Robinson (concussion) are OK for the second round of the playoffs, playing starters throughout a loss to Tampa Bay didn't backfire on Falcons coach Mike Smith.
- San Francisco 49ers - With two wide receivers on injured reserve, Michael Crabtree (172 yards receiving and two touchdowns against Arizona) couldn't have picked a better time to play the best football of his four-year NFL career.
- New England Patriots - The Patriots took a big step toward a Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning rematch in the AFC championship game by securing the conference's No. 2 playoff seed.
- Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks didn't win the NFC West, but they played as well as any division leader in December.
- Green Bay Packers - If the Packers can't figure out how to stop Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson they could be one-and-done in the playoffs.
- Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III (knee) didn't look 100 percent healthy against Dallas, but the legs of another Redskins rookie were working just fine. A 200-yard, three touchdown rushing performance by Alfred Morris against Dallas helped Washington win its first NFC East title since 1999.
- Indianapolis Colts - The Colts had two reasons to celebrate Sunday - the return of head coach Chuck Pagano (leukemia) to the sideline and an 11th victory by soundly defeating AFC South rival Houston.
- Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson finished 9 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, but leading Minnesota into the playoffs is a nice consolation prize.
- Houston Texans - So much for the first-round playoff bye that seemed like a no-brainer a month ago. The swoon continued for the Texans with three losses in the final four regular-season games.
- Baltimore Ravens - With the AFC's No. 4 playoff seed considered a certainty, the Ravens were able to give starters some much-needed rest during a 23-17 loss at Cincinnati.
- Cincinnati Bengals - The next step for the Bengals - wining a playoff game for the first time since 1990.
- Chicago Bears - With the Bears missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, not even a 10-6 record was enough to save head coach Lovie Smith's job.
- New York Giants - The December rally never came.
- Dallas Cowboys - Will any other quarterback have as long an offseason as Tony Romo following his three-interception performance against Washington?
- Pittsburgh Steelers - A season-ending win over Cleveland did nothing to quell the disappointment that came with missing the playoffs for only the second time since 2007.
- Carolina Panthers - Ron Rivera should know soon enough whether a four-game win streak to end the season was enough to keep his head coaching position in 2013.
- St. Louis Rams - If the Rams can add some offensive talent in the offseason, this has the makings of a playoff team in 2013.
- New Orleans Saints - Head coach Sean Payton can't return soon enough.
- Miami Dolphins - A surprisingly decent season ended on a down note with a 28-0 shutout loss at New England.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The top offseason priority for Tampa Bay will be fixing a pass defense that narrowly avoided surrendering the most yards in NFL history.
- San Diego Chargers - Three straight years without a playoff appearance was too much for ousted head coach Norv Turner and A.J. Smith to overcome.
- New York Jets - Rex Ryan gets one more season to fix the mess he and fired general manager Mike Tannebuam created.
- Buffalo Bills - The Bills will be hiring their sixth different head coach in 14 seasons after the firing of Chan Gailey.
- Tennessee Titans - Jake Locker has one more season to prove he's a bona fide franchise quarterback.
- Cleveland Browns - Sitting-duck head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert Jr. were mercifully relieved of their duties by Cleveland's new regime after finishing 5-11.
- Arizona Cardinals - A 1-11 end to the season shows how far Arizona has fallen since the 2008 Cardinals reached the Super Bowl.
- Oakland Raiders - Head coach Dennis Allen fired his offensive and special-teams coordinators (Greg Knapp, Steve Hoffman) after just one season. If the Raiders don't show marked improvement in 2013, Allen will be the next one shown the door.
- Detroit Lions - No 2011 playoff team had a bigger fall from grace than the Lions.
- Philadelphia Eagles - Although his firing was inevitable, it will initially be strange watching the Eagles in 2013 and not seeing Andy Reid on the sideline.
- Jacksonville Jaguars - The firing of general manager Gene Smith means Mike Mularkey may not get another season as head coach after finishing 2-14.
- Kansas City Chiefs - On the bright side, at least all that losing means Kansas City has the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft.
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