Published: Sep 04, 2012 6:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 05, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Ira Kaufman of Tampa Tribune:

IRA KAUFMAN (Tampa Tribune)

1. New England Patriots - As long as Belichick and Brady are around, 12 wins and legitimate Super Bowl aspirations will follow.

2. Green Bay Packers - Perhaps shifting Charles Woodson to safety can energize a secondary that was burned repeatedly last fall.

3. Houston Texans - With weak schedule and strong roster, there's no reason Texans shouldn't contend for AFC's No. 1 playoff seed.

4. San Francisco 49ers - When you can run and play defense like Jim Harbaugh's marauders, expectations should run rampant from San Jose to Sausalito.

5. New York Giants - Five prime-time games and a killer closing slate will test resolve of Super Bowl champs.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers - Yes, they are getting a little creaky on defense, but Ben Roethlisberger is 80-33 and you simply can't run on these guys.

7. Baltimore Ravens - Ray Lewis & Co. have every intention of making Peyton Manning's Denver debut Sunday evening a Rocky Mountain Low.

8. Dallas Cowboys - Jerry Jones may have faith in Jason Garrett, but Dallas fans will be clamoring for Jon Gruden if Cowboys fade once again in December.

9. Denver Broncos - John Fox proved in Carolina he knows how to win with smart QB and punishing ground game. He's about to prove it again.

10. Atlanta Falcons - Coming off impressive preseason, Matt Ryan needs to recapture his form as one of league's premier young QBs.

11. Philadelphia Eagles - Looks like a determined group eager to atone for a sorry season, but Michael Vick is a PUP list waiting to happen.

12. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler has some shiny new weapons scattered in Windy City as Chicago takes aim on Green Bay in NFC North.

13. Cincinnati Bengals - One more playoff season in Queen City and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will be hot coaching candidate in 2013.

14. Tennessee Titans - Chris Johnson back to old tricks in backfield and Tennessee's defense is better than advertised.

15. Detroit Lions - Jim Schwartz can only hope Lions show more discipline on fall Sundays than they do off field.

16. New York Jets - Rex Ryan still yapping, but it won't be long before one of NFL's better defenses is giving a moribund attack the silent treatment.

17. San Diego Chargers - Memo to Turner: How can you be an NFL head coach for 221 regular-season games and still have so much to prove?

18. Carolina Panthers - Defense will be significantly improved, easing burden on Cam Newton.

19. New Orleans Saints - Road games vs. Packers, Broncos and Giants won't help cause as Drew Brees tries to hold things together in Crescent City.

20. Seattle Seahawks - Tucked away in upper left corner of NFL map, Pete Carroll quietly building a winner.

21. Washington Redskins - Reunited with Raheem Morris, talented safety Tanard Jackson did it again - third drug-related suspension.

22. Kansas City Chiefs - Despite boasting very talented athletes, KC will be undermined by draft reaches and erratic play under center.

23. Buffalo Bills - Made some dramatic strides on offense in 2011. This year, it's the defense's turn to rise.

24. Arizona Cardinals - John Skelton gets opportunity to bloom in desert while talented defensive front should provide some heat.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Rookie RB Doug Martin and WR Vincent Jackson will play prominent roles for offense that looks promising on paper.

26. Oakland Raiders - Same old, same old. Pride & Poise gang will spring a few upsets along way and beat themselves in other games before settling in at corner of 6th and 10th.

27. St. Louis Rams - With Jeff Fisher calling shots, Rams will be fundamentally sound and excel on special teams.

28. Minnesota Vikings - Lost eight games by six points or less last season; Vikes will win share of close ones if Adrian Peterson returns to greatness.

29. Indianapolis Colts - Besides all that raw talent, Andrew Luck has perfect demeanor to grow with this football team.

30. Miami Dolphins - Poor little rich owner Stephen Ross ... he craves a winner desperately, but has no idea how to make it happen.

31. Cleveland Browns - Hasn't posted winning mark on road since 2002 and this offense isn't exactly brimming with playmakers.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars - If Jags avoid home blackouts this fall, entire marketing department should earn two-week vacation to Hawaii.


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