Vikings rise to 21st in AP poll

The Vikings moved up a spot in the AP Pro32 rankings as their record is getting closer to .500.

Despite not playing last week because of their bye, the New England Patriots are still on top of the NFL.

The Patriots (7-2) received seven of 12 first-place votes Tuesday for the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a media panel that regularly covers the league.

The Patriots face Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, starting a tough three-game stretch for New England.

“The Patriots will truly be the Super Bowl front-runner if they can survive a brutal November stretch that features games against Indianapolis (6-3), Detroit (7-2) and Green Bay (6-3),” Alex Marvez of said.

ESPN’s Herm Edwards said the Colts also have something to prove against coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

“Indianapolis lost early in the season to Denver,” Edwards said. “The Colts need to show they can play with elite AFC teams this weekend against the Patriots.”

The Arizona Cardinals (8-1) received the other five first-place votes and stayed at No. 2 in the poll.

The Cardinals will have to rely on backup quarterback Drew Stanton after Carson Palmer was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his knee.

“If the Cardinals are to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium, backup QB Drew Stanton will now have to take them.” Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News said.

Stanton threw a touchdown pass as the Cardinals rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

“(Coach Bruce) Arians really believes in QB Drew Stanton,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said.

In fact, the top five all stayed the same as the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions followed the Patriots and Cardinals.

The Eagles (7-2) are also counting on a backup QB with Mark Sanchez replacing Nick Foles.

“Resurgent Mark Sanchez is having fun guiding the NFC’s highest-scoring attack,” said Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Next up for the Lions is a key game on Sunday at Arizona in a matchup of two of the top teams in the NFC.

Matthew Stafford does it again,” NBC’s Tony Dungy said of the Lions QB’s last-minute touchdown pass to beat Miami. “Big test this week at Arizona.”

The Green Bay Packers, the Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs rounded out the top 10.

Tony Romo returns from a back injury and revives the Dallas offense in a much-needed win over the Jaguars in London to stop a two-game losing streak,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

The Packers’ defensive performance in their Sunday night rout of the Bears impressed Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.

“Wily move by the Packers, addressing their 32nd-ranked run defense over the bye week by moving Clay Matthews to inside linebacker,” she said.


The Associated Press Pro32 NFL Power Rankings, as voted by a 12-member panel, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 11, total points based on 32 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 32nd-place vote, and previous ranking:

WL TPts Pvs
1. New England Patriots (7) 72 0379 1
2. Arizona Cardinals (5) 81 0374 2
3. Denver Broncos 72 0362 3
4. Philadelphia Eagles 72 0333 4
5. Detroit Lions 72 0329 5
6. Green Bay Packers 63 0321 8
7. Indianapolis Colts 63 0314 6
8. Seattle Seahawks 63 0298 9
9. Dallas Cowboys 73 0295 10
10. Kansas City Chiefs 63 0290 11
11. San Francisco 49ers 54 0251 16
12. Cleveland Browns 63 0245 19
13. Pittsburgh Steelers 64 0228 7
14. Baltimore Ravens 64 0224 17
15. Miami Dolphins 54 0214 13
16. Cincinnati Bengals 53 1202 11
17. San Diego Chargers 54 0198 18
18. New Orleans Saints 45 0197 14
19. Buffalo Bills 54 0190 15
20. Houston Texans 45 0146 21
21. Minnesota Vikings 45 0137 22
22. Carolina Panthers 36 1116 20
23. St. Louis Rams 36 0112 24
24. New York Giants 36 0103 25
25. Washington Redskins 36 0100 26
26. Atlanta Falcons 36 094 27
27. Chicago Bears 36 078 23
28. New York Jets 28 071 30
29. Tennessee Titans 27 059 28
30. Jacksonville Jaguars 19 032 29
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18 031 31
32. Oakland Raiders 09 013 32

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