Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune:
Week 9
DAN POMPEI (Chicago Tribune)
1. New York Giants - How would an Eli Manning-Peyton Manning Super Bowl strike you?
2. Atlanta - When everyone was busy watching Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, Matt Ryan was the best passer in the first half of the NFL season.
3. Chicago - Their offense has been all promise, no payoff. Unless Jay Cutler and company start putting together more scoring drives, the Bears can't keep it going.
4. Houston - They will get a chance to show Mario Williams how much he is missed Sunday
5. San Francisco - If they can keep Alex Smith playing like he played Monday, look out.
6. Green Bay - They are managing to tread water through some injuries - that's the sign of a strong team.
7. New England - After the bye, the Patriots could be ready to embark on their annual second half tear.
8. Baltimore - No truth to the rumor that Joe Flacco is going to play both ways in order to do for the Ravens defense what he has done for their offense.
9. Denver - Looks like they should keep getting better and run away with the AFC West.
10. Minnesota - They cannot be as bad as the team we saw last Thursday. Can they?
11. Miami - Joe Philbin is an early candidate for coach of the year and the Dolphins are the NFL's surprise team so far.
12. Pittsburgh - What does it tell us when more people are talking about the uniform than the team?
13. Indianapolis - The Colts are not a bad football team. And with Vick Ballard, they might not be a bad high jump team either.
14. Detroit - If anyone can find Calvin Johnson, please let Matthew Stafford know where he is.
15. Seattle - If you judged them strictly by their road record (1-4), they'd be at the bottom of these rankings.
16. Dallas - They remain a scary team to play. And a scary team to coach, apparently.
17. Arizona - If history is a guide, the Cardinals, who started 4-0 and then lost four straight, are due for a four game win streak.
18. Washington - Injuries on both sides of the ball have impacted this team to a significant degree.
19. Philadelphia - It's difficult to envision Nick Foles saving the season for the Eagles.
20. Tampa Bay - They might not be Super Bowl bound, but you can see progress under first year coach Greg Schiano.
21. San Diego - They have lost three straight and San Diego is starting to look for scapegoats.
22. Cincinnati - Three straight losses have the Bengals reeling, but they can't be counted out just yet.
23. New Orleans - Steve Spagnuolo would like a magic wand. Or a pass rush. Or some run defense. Or some decent coverage.
24. St. Louis - They can blame what happened Sunday on the fish and chips. Or on Tom Brady.
25. Buffalo - Maybe they had time during their off week to fix some of the leaks in their defense.
26. New York Jets - Rex Ryan barely is recognizable without being cocky. But he has little to be cocky about these days.
27. Tennessee - Mike Munchak says Jake Locker is not ``a long ways away.'' The Titans, however, may be.
28. Oakland - Don't look now but the Raiders have won two straight. Never mind that the teams they beat were the Jaguars and Chiefs.
29. Cleveland - Trent Richardson and stingy defense are a pretty decent combination.
30. Carolina - They may be one of those teams that will play tough almost every week but find a way to lose the game.
31. Kansas City - This team could use a shakeup. Is trading Dwayne Bowe the answer?
32. Jacksonville - The Jaguars are feisty, but they need playmakers to step up.
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