Vikings fall one spot in AP Pro32 rankings

The Vikings fell one spot after a close loss while Detroit remained the same after the narrow win. Meanwhile, the Patriots took over first place in the latest AP Pro32 power rankings. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots maintained their mastery of the AFC East and returned to the top spot in the NFL.

The Patriots clinched the division for the 11th time in 12 years with Sunday’s 41-13 rout of the Miami Dolphins.

New England (11-3) received nine of 12 first-place votes Tuesday in the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a media panel that regularly covers the league.

“Remember when Tom Brady was in decline and the 2-2 Patriots were about to lose control of the AFC East? So much for that,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

“Brady has 28 TDs and six INTs since his uneven start, and the Pats have won nine of their last 10 to win another AFC East title and earn the inside track on home-field advantage in the conference playoffs.”

The Seattle Seahawks (10-4) got the other three first-place votes and moved up a spot to No. 2 after their 17-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Seahawks face NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals (11-4) on Sunday night. The Cardinals moved up a spot to No. 5.

“The Cardinals have played four quarterbacks this season, and their defense has been ravaged with injuries, but they still sewed up their first playoff berth since 2009. Bruce Arians is a lock for Coach of the Year,” said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.

The Denver Broncos jumped a spot to No. 3 after clinching the AFC West with a 22-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

“John Fox has quietly pieced together a formidable defense,” said Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

The Green Bay Packers dropped from the top spot to No. 4 after their surprising 21-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

“The two best teams in the NFC may be Green Bay and Seattle — yet both sit second in their own divisions with two weeks to play,” said Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News.

The Dallas Cowboys (10-4) are at No. 6 after rallying past the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, followed by the Indianapolis Colts (10-4). The teams play Sunday afternoon in Texas.

“Indy game is huge (for Dallas),” NBC Sports’ Tony Dungy said. “Could end up No. 1 seed or miss the playoffs.”

The Detroit Lions (10-4) remained at No. 8 after rallying past the Minnesota Vikings and moving into a first-place tie with the Packers in the NFC North.

“Vikings beat them everywhere but on scoreboard,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said.

The Eagles (9-5) and Baltimore Ravens (9-5) rounded out the top 10.

“Another grind-it-out win for the Ravens over the Jaguars,” ESPN’s Herm Edwards said.

The Eagles have dropped two straight and trail the Cowboys by a game in the NFC East going into Saturday’s matchup with last-place Washington.

“The same problems that have persisted all season — poor pass coverage against the deep ball, offensive line woes and spotty quarterback play — are starting to sink the Eagles,”’s Alex Marvez said.


The Associated Press Pro32 NFL Power Rankings, as voted by a 12-member panel, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 2, total points based on 32 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 32nd-place vote, and previous ranking:
Team W-LPrev Pts
1. New England Patriots (9) 11-32 380
2. Seattle Seahawks (3) 10-43 374
3. Denver Broncos 11-34 355
4. Green Bay Packers 10-41 348
5. Arizona Cardinals 11-36 328
6. Dallas Cowboys 10-49 320
7. Indianapolis Colts 10-47 311
8. Detroit Lions 10-48 310
9. Philadelphia Eagles 9-55 278
10. Baltimore Ravens 9-510 271
11. Cincinnati Bengals 9-4-112 270
12. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-511 269
13. Buffalo Bills 8-616 233
14. San Diego Chargers 8-613 225
15. Kansas City Chiefs 8-614 224
16. San Francisco 49ers 7-718 192
17. Houston Texans 7-715 179
18. Miami Dolphins 7-716 175
19. St. Louis Rams 6-819 168
20. New Orleans Saints 6-824 152
21. Carolina Panthers 5-8-121 146
22. Cleveland Browns 7-720 136
23. Minnesota Vikings 6-822 127
24. Atlanta Falcons 5-923 122
25. New York Giants 5-926 105
26. Chicago Bears 5-925 79
27. New York Jets 3-1131 59
28. Oakland Raiders 2-1227 51
29. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-1229 47
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-1228 45
31. Washington Redskins 3-1130 40
32. Tennessee Titans 2-1232 17

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