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 Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune:
Week 9
IRA KAUFMAN (Tampa Tribune)
1. Atlanta - Those Matt Ryan MVP chants are getting louder, and with good reason.
2. Houston - This well-balanced club has the eyes of Texas fixed on a No. 1 playoff seeding.
3. New York Giants - It's not always pretty, but the defending champs usually find a winning formula.
4. San Francisco - The Alex Smith bashers don't have much to say this week, do they?
5. Chicago - One day, those weekly defensive touchdowns will cease in the Windy City. One day.
6. New England - Crossing the Atlantic seems to bring out the best in these Patriots.
7. Green Bay - Until Greg Jennings returns, this offense will continue to struggle.
8. Denver - Welcome back, Peyton, to the top rung of the NFL passing ladder.
9. Pittsburgh - This defense is coming on strong, as Eli Manning is about to discover.
10. Baltimore - With Ray Lewis sidelined, John Harbaugh is looking for new leaders. Any takers?
11. Miami - Only the Bears and 49ers have allowed fewer points than the under-the-radar Dolphins.
12. Seattle - They should improve to 4-0 at home by beating the reeling Vikings.
13. Minnesota - After an outstanding first month, Christian Ponder has lost his mojo.
14. Detroit - That last-minute win vs. Seattle could trigger a surge in Motown.
15. Dallas - Questions abound, but knocking off the unbeaten Falcons would be quite a statement.
16. Washington - It took awhile, but RG3 finally looked like a rookie at Pittsburgh.
17. Tampa Bay - The new-look Bucs have averaged 34 points in the past three weeks.
18. Philadelphia - They're getting overwhelmed in the trenches right now.
19. Indianapolis - A win against Miami would leave the Colts in prime playoff shape at the midpoint.
20. Cincinnati - Seeking to end a three-game slide after a week off to refresh.
21. New Orleans - If Drew Brees isn't at the top of his game, they have no chance.
22. San Diego - Charger fans are wondering how it could all go so wrong, so fast.
23. New York Jets - Something's got to change in a hurry after the bye week.
24. Arizona - Lambeau Field is hardly an easy place to end a four-game losing streak.
25. St. Louis - They are 0-3 on the road, facing some tough challenges ahead.
26. Oakland - They've stopped beating themselves, and that's a start.
27. Buffalo - A reliable ground game will be severely tested in Houston.
28. Tennessee - On pace to allow 514 points this season. Ugh.
29. Cleveland - Respectable at home, awful on the road.
30. Carolina - Despite every opportunity to beat the Bears, they found another way to lose.
31. Jacksonville - The NFL's most drab attack has scored nine touchdowns in seven games.
32. Kansas City - Thinking the unthinkable: going 0-8 at Arrowhead is now a distinct possibility.
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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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