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AP Pro32 ballot from Pompei

AP Pro32-Pompei Ballot

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of Chicago Tribune:

Week 18

DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)

  1. Denver Broncos - In their last four games, no team has come within 13 points of them, and in their 11 game win streak they have only trailed in the fourth quarter once.
  1. Green Bay Packers - Despite the fact they lost Sunday, Aaron Rodgers is playing great football. And that's a very good sign for the Packers.
  1. Seattle Seahawks - Too bad the vote for offensive rookie of the year can't be put off for a week after Russell Wilson takes on RG3.
  1. San Francisco 49ers - In his last nine games, Frank Gore has failed to rush for 100 yards. If they are going to win in the playoffs, Gore has to heat up.
  1. New England Patriots - They made an NFL record 444 first downs and head into the playoffs with the NFL's most dangerous offense.
  1. Minnesota Vikings - If Christian Ponder plays like he did Sunday in the playoffs, the Vikings can go all the way.
  1. Atlanta Falcons - Bad way to head into the playoffs: they lost their last game and possibly lost their top cornerback and top pass rusher.
  1. Washington Redskins - They have now avoided committing a turnover in six games this year, which speaks well to their playoff chances.
  1. Indianapolis Colts - In most years, Andrew Luck is a runaway winner for offensive rookie of the year. He might not get many votes this year.
  1. Houston Texans - They lost three of their last five and no longer look like the same team that won 10 of their first 11.
  1. Baltimore Ravens - Ray Lewis' return should give them an emotional charge, and the Ravens will need one after losing four of their last five.
  1. Cincinnati Bengals - They will need to pick it up offensively to beat the Texans. They have scored just one offensive touchdown in their last eight quarters.
  1. Chicago Bears - Ten wins got four other teams in the playoffs, and usually gets any team in, but the Bears lost the wrong games and missed the cut.
  1. New York Giants - They lost five of their last eight and became the 14th Super Bowl winner to fail to make it to the playoffs.
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers - This is what you have to love about the Steelers-they underachieved and missed the playoffs but are apparently not making major changes. Only in Pittsburgh.
  1. Dallas Cowboys - After a fine, fine season by Tony Romo, his three interceptions against the Redskins were the three nails in this team's coffin.
  1. St. Louis Rams - It will be a surprise if this team doesn't finish next season's power rankings quite a bit higher than 17th.
  1. Carolina Panthers - Ron Rivera and the coaching staff did a heck of a job down the stretch to turn around the Panthers and win five of their last six.
  1. New Orleans Saints - They had their biggest win of the year over the weekend-re-signing head coach Sean Payton.
  1. Miami Dolphins - They missed the playoffs for the tenth time and 11 years. Now it's time to go get Ryan Tannehill someone to throw to.
  1. San Diego Chargers - A.J. Smith and Norv Turner had some good moments in San Diego. They just didn't have enough of them lately.
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Josh Freeman petered out at the end of the season, and left Greg Schiano lukewarm on the QB's future with the team.
  1. New York Jets - If Mark Sanchez still gives the Jets the best chance to win next year, the Jets won't be very good again.
  1. Buffalo Bills - They have had one winning season in their last 13, and everything wasn't Chan Gailey's fault.
  1. Tennessee Titans - Interesting how the blame game was played by Bud Adams. Mike Munchak and Ruston Webster stay, Mike Reinfeldt goes.
  1. Cleveland Browns - If history repeats itself, the Browns will hold a press conference to announce a new coach in a few weeks. Then they will do it again in two years. And again in two years. And again in two years.
  1. Arizona Cardinals - Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt made some solid contributions to the Cardinals, but they couldn't fix the quarterback position in recent years.
  1. Philadelphia Eagles - It's a pretty safe bet the Eagles' next coach will fail to match Andy Reid's record in Philly.
  1. Oakland Raiders - It must be a new era in Oakland if the head coach isn't getting fired.
  1. Detroit Lions - From 10-6 to 4-12, the Lions were one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL. As a result, look for quite a bit of roster upheaval.
  1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Gene Smith was the fall guy, and the Shad Khan era really begins now.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs - They had three more Pro Bowlers than victories, so Clark Hunt said adios to Romeo Crennel.

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