The Patriots (9-2) received all 12 first-place votes Tuesday in the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a media panel that regularly covers the league.
The Patriots have won seven games in a row, almost all of them by comfortable margins.
“The Brady-Belichick Express rolls on toward Glendale,” the Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman said, referring to the location of this season’s Super Bowl.
Green Bay (8-3) moved up a spot to No. 2 after holding off the Minnesota Vikings 24-21 on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers host the Patriots on Sunday afternoon in a matchup of teams that could meet at the Super Bowl.
“The talk about Packers-Patriots being a potential Super Bowl preview isn’t overblown,” said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.
“Both teams, and both quarterbacks, are playing like the best in the NFL right now.”
The Denver Broncos (8-3) moved up from No. 5 to 3 after edging the Miami Dolphins 39-36.
“This defense doesn’t look Super Bowl-worthy right now,” ESPN’s Herm Edwards said of the Broncos, who face AFC West rival Kansas City on Sunday night.
The Arizona Cardinals (9-2) dropped from No. 2 to 4 after losing 19-3 at the Seattle Seahawks.
“(Cardinals) quarterback Drew Stanton has yet to throw a touchdown pass in his three road starts this season,” Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News said.
The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, tied for first in the NFC East at 8-3, followed at No. 5 and No. 6.
“Terrific performance by Tony Romo, whose four touchdowns get the best of the upset-minded Giants on the road,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.
The Cowboys and Eagles will meet on Thanksgiving at Arlington, Texas.
“They will move the ball,” NBC’s Tony Dungy said of the Eagles offense. “Can (Mark) Sanchez protect it?”
The Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers (each 7-4) were Nos. 7-9.
The Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1) and the Chiefs (7-4) were tied for No. 10.
“We’ll learn Sunday night against Denver just how good the Chiefs are after last Thursday’s stunning loss to Oakland,” Foxsports.com’s Alex Marvez said.
The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh, both 7-4 in the AFC North, are tied at No. 12. The Browns, also 7-4, moved up one spot to No. 16.
The AFC North is the first division in NFL history with every team at least three games above .500 at any point in a season.
The Oakland Raiders (1-10), who ended their 16-game regular-season losing streak last week against the Chiefs, moved out of the final spot to No. 31. The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) fell to last place.
THE RANKINGSThe Associated Press Pro32 NFL Power Rankings, as voted by a 12-member panel, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 25, total points based on 32 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 32nd-place vote, and previous ranking:
|1. New England Patriots (12)||9||2||0||384||1|
|2. Green Bay Packers||8||3||0||368||3|
|3. Denver Broncos||8||3||0||354||5|
|4. Arizona Cardinals||9||2||0||347||2|
|5. Dallas Cowboys||8||3||0||328||7|
|6. Philadelphia Eagles||8||3||0||320||8|
|7. Seattle Seahawks||7||4||0||299||11|
|8. Indianapolis Colts||7||4||0||294||9|
|9. San Francisco 49ers||7||4||0||282||10|
|10. Cincinnati Bengals||7||3||1||259||13|
|10. Kansas City Chiefs||7||4||0||259||4|
|12. Baltimore Ravens||7||4||0||258||14|
|12. Pittsburgh Steelers||7||4||0||258||12|
|14. Detroit Lions||7||4||0||248||6|
|15. Miami Dolphins||6||5||0||216||15|
|16. Cleveland Browns||7||4||0||211||17|
|17. San Diego Chargers||7||4||0||204||16|
|18. Buffalo Bills||6||5||0||181||20|
|19. Houston Texans||5||6||0||164||18|
|20. Chicago Bears||5||6||0||147||23|
|20. St. Louis Rams||4||7||0||147||19|
|22. New Orleans Saints||4||7||0||136||21|
|23. Atlanta Falcons||4||7||0||113||22|
|24. Minnesota Vikings||4||7||0||106||24|
|25. New York Giants||3||8||0||98||26|
|26. Carolina Panthers||3||7||1||96||25|
|27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||9||0||67||27|
|28. Tennessee Titans||2||9||0||54||29|
|29. Washington Redskins||3||8||0||51||30|
|30. New York Jets||2||9||0||41||28|
|31. Oakland Raiders||1||10||0||26||32|
|32. Jacksonville Jaguars||1||10||0||20||31|