Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Ira Kaufman of Tampa Tribune:
IRA KAUFMAN (Tampa Tribune)
1. Houston Texans -- The AFC's most physical club has that No. 1 playoff seed within its grasp.
2. Atlanta Falcons -- If the game's close in crunch time, Matty Ice will find a way.
3. San Francisco 49ers -- That change under center looks permanent -- for now.
4. New England Patriots -- Why worry about defense when you average 37 points per game?
5. Baltimore Ravens -- Take a bow, Ray Rice. You just turned in the play of the year.
6. Denver Broncos -- Look past Peyton Manning for a moment and check out this killer defense.
7. New York Giants -- This is still the team the Falcons and 49ers fear most in January.
8. Chicago Bears -- That "next man up" refrain is getting a little old in the Windy City.
9. Green Bay Packers -- All their weaknesses were exposed in that Meadowlands meltdown.
10. Indianapolis Colts -- If they forced more turnovers, they would be really dangerous.
11. Cincinnati Bengals -- The defense is settling down and the offense is now in high gear.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Pulling an upset at Denver would serve as a playoff springboard.
13. Seattle Seahawks -- Two stout defenses will keep forcing punts at Soldier Field.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Roethlisberger to the rescue, just in time.
15. Washington Redskins -- After a brief stumble, Robert Griffin III is back in full flight.
16. New Orleans Saints -- A daunting schedule and this soft defense suggest it's not their year.
17. Minnesota Vikings -- As talented as he is, Adrian Peterson can't do it alone.
18. Dallas Cowboys -- They need a breather, and here come the reeling Eagles.
19. San Diego Chargers -- Watch out for those fourth-and-29s, fellas.
20. Detroit Lions -- Their margin for error is gone, and this defense is going nowhere.
21. Miami Dolphins -- Want to prove something to the Patriots? Here's your chance.
22. St. Louis Rams -- In the words of Mr. Springsteen, one step up, two steps back.
23. Cleveland Browns -- They play hard every week and this young defense has some promise.
24. Carolina Panthers -- Ron Rivera has five more games to save his job.
25. Buffalo Bills -- These phony Bills lack star quality.
26. New York Jets -- Getting what they deserve the back page of the Big Apple tabloids.
27. Arizona Cardinals -- A lot of good defense going to waste as Ken Whisenhunt stews.
28. Tennessee Titans -- Chris Johnson isn't scared of anyone, including the big, bad Texans.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Time to open up their wallets in free agency.
30. Philadelphia Eagles -- Five more weeks before Andy Reid gets his walking papers.
31. Oakland Raiders -- Pride and poise may give way to 500 points allowed.
32. Kansas City Chiefs -- The question is will GM Scott Pioli be around to kick off the 2013 draft?
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