|Published:||Sep 04, 2012 6:20 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 05, 2012 6:31 AM EDT|
NEW YORK (AP) - Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com:
ALEX MARVEZ (Foxsports.com)
1. New England Patriots - Struggles on offensive line were worrisome, but defense looks improved from unit that helped Patriots reach Super Bowl.
2. Green Bay Packers - Provided his 2011 fumbling problems are behind him, preseason signing of running back Cedric Benson should give an already prolific offense a nice boost.
3. Houston Texans - Trio of pass-rushing linebackers (Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed and rookie Whitney Mercilus) must be frothing at mouth knowing Miami will field rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill on road in Week 1.
4. New York Giants - First-round pick David Wilson provided preseason rushing spark Giants had missed. One thing that remains same from last year's Super Bowl-winning squad: A dominating pass-rush.
5. San Francisco 49ers - Can stake legitimate claim to being NFC's top team if they win in Green Bay.
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Not even in 1990s when Bengals fielded two top five picks (Dan Wilkinson, John Copeland) has defensive line looked so good.
7. Philadelphia Eagles - Michael Vick's absence gave rookie Nick Foles chance to earn backup spot; Eagles aren't Super Bowl contender without increasingly fragile Vick under center.
8. Baltimore Ravens - I had Ravens ranked 17th in last poll because of pass-rush concerns. I'm now convinced Baltimore's three top young offensive players (quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and wide receiver Torrey Smith) can help compensate any defensive drop-off.
9. Detroit Lions - Expect a lot of high-scoring games because Detroit has patchwork secondary. Leading way for Lions offense will be wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who looked like he couldn't be covered at times during preseason.
10. Denver Broncos - Broncos much sharper in third preseason game against San Francisco. Still, it will probably take some time for quarterback Peyton Manning to settle into comfortable groove.
11. Atlanta Falcons - Julio Jones displayed "Megatron"-like talent during preseason, but Falcons still have issues along offensive line and suspect pass rush outside of John Abraham.
12. Carolina Panthers - Forget about Tim Tebow. Cam Newton is prototype run/pass quarterback - and he should be even better after banner rookie campaign.
13. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall reunion already feels so good for Bears. Two areas of concern: Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher's injured knee and inconsistent play of left tackle J'Marcus Webb.
14. New Orleans Saints - Although defense experiencing growing pains under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, quarterback Drew Brees sharp as ever.
15. Kansas City Chiefs - General manager Scott Pioli has assembled his best offensive talent since taking reins in 2008. Secondary struggled in preseason without cornerback Brandon Flowers (heel).
16. Pittsburgh Steelers - All of injuries Steelers were forced to deal with during the preseason could lead to a slower-than-usual start.
17. Buffalo Bills - Bills not sharp on offense during preseason. However, revamped defensive line looks like real deal.
18. San Diego Chargers - Rash of injuries par for course in San Diego. Offensive struggles aren't, which made this preseason so alarming for the Chargers.
19. Dallas Cowboys - It was rough preseason on the injury front, but quarterback Tony Romo and cornerback Brandon Carr were two bright spots.
20. Seattle Seahawks - Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson picked apart Kansas City's defense in preseason to win starting spot. Can he still thrive when games are for real?
21. Tennessee Titans - Looks like Jake Locker will be growing into starting position after not doing much to differentiate himself from incumbent Matt Hasselbeck during preseason quarterback competition.
22. New York Jets - Jets had better hope gimmick packages new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano didn't unveil during preseason can provide punch for unit that failed to score touchdown in 30 combined drives under Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
23. Oakland Raiders - Preseason struggles of quarterback Carson Palmer were alarming, but at least he has healthy Darren McFadden to carry rushing load. Defensive line looks stout as well.
24. Washington Redskins - Underrated defense must carry Redskins as rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III begins first NFL season.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Even without running back Maurice Jones-Drew in preseason, the offense - particularly second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert - looked much-improved under new coach Mike Mularkey.
26. Arizona Cardinals - In "lesser-of-two-evils" quarterback competition, John Skelton emerged victorious over Kevin Kolb. Both were terrible and left tackle situation a mess, Cards have strong defense and likely improved running game with Ryan Williams' return.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Appear headed in right direction under new coach Greg Schiano, but will need time before being legitimate playoff contender.
28. St. Louis Rams - Quarterback Sam Bradford already looks much improved from disastrous 2011 season. Bradford's supporting cast, though, still not up to snuff outside of running back Steven Jackson, wide receiver Danny Amendola.
29. Cleveland Browns - Browns facing too many big problems - inexperience on offense and lack of pass rush on defense. Not a good combination in quality division.
30. Minnesota Vikings - Even if running back Adrian Peterson isn't 100 percent for opener against Jacksonville, replacement Tony Gerhart enjoyed best preseason of three-year NFL career. Bigger concern is back seven of Minnesota's defense outside of stud linebacker Chad Greenway.
31. Indianapolis Colts - Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck looks like real deal already. That should help accelerate Colts rebuilding process.
32. Miami Dolphins - Hard Knocks actually made a bad franchise look even worse.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL