Vikings fall in AP Pro32 power rankings

Losing three out of four of their last games caused the Vikings to drop six spots in the Associated Press' Pro32 rankings.

A close call on the field for the Atlanta Falcons, a near unanimous choice to stay atop the AP Pro32 NFL power rankings.

Atlanta (8-0) topped Dallas 19-13 over the weekend to remain the league's only undefeated team. The Falcons received 11 first-place votes and 382 points Tuesday from The Associated Press' 12-person panel of media members who regularly cover the league.

The Houston Texans moved into the second spot by one point ahead of the Chicago Bears. Rounding out the first five are the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.

The New York Giants, second the past three weeks, dropped into a tie for sixth with the New England Patriots after a loss to Pittsburgh.

Houston totaled 363 points and Chicago had 362, with San Francisco receiving the other first-place vote and 348 points.

"The NFL's Bon Jovi," said ESPN's Chris Berman of the Falcons, "they're halfway there, but NOT living on a prayer."

Despite the perfect record, not everyone's a believer.

"Undefeated? Yes. Super Bowl threat? Yes. Best team in football? Still not convinced," said Sporting News' Clifton Brown, who had the 49ers first and the Falcons third behind the Bears.

The Texans moved up a spot after their 21-9 win over Buffalo, while the Giants dropped four places after their third loss of the season. The Bears advanced two places after their 51-20 rout of Tennessee, and are set to host the Texans on Sunday night in a matchup of one-loss teams.

Foxsports.com's Alex Marvez said the game "could be a preview of Super Bowl XLVII."

THE RANKINGS

The Associated Press Pro32 NFL Power Rankings, as voted by a 12-member panel, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 6, total points based on 32 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 32nd-place vote, and previous ranking:

Rk. Team W L T Pts Pvs
1. Atlanta Falcons (11) 8 0 0 382 1
2. Houston Texans 7 1 0 363 3
3. Chicago Bears 7 1 0 362 5
4. San Fran 49ers (1) 6 2 0 348 4
5. Green Bay Packers 6 3 0 323 6
6. New England Patriots 5 3 0 313 7
6. New York Giants 6 3 0 313 2
8. Denver Broncos 5 3 0 304 8
9. Baltimore Ravens 6 2 0 297 9
10. Pittsburgh Steelers 5 3 0 294 10
11. Seattle Seahawks 5 4 0 260 13
12. Indianapolis Colts 5 3 0 244 16
13. Detroit Lions 4 4 0 239 14
14. Tampa Bay Bucs 4 4 0 214 19
15. Miami Dolphins 4 4 0 208 11
16. San Diego Chargers 4 4 0 194 22
17. New Orleans Saints 3 5 0 193 23
18. Minnesota Vikings 5 4 0 188 12
19. Dallas Cowboys 3 5 0 179 15
20. Philadelphia Eagles 3 5 0 147 17
21. Arizona Cardinals 4 5 0 133 20
22. Cincinnati Bengals 3 5 0 130 21
23. Washington Redskins 3 6 0 127 18
24. New York Jets 3 5 0 113 24
25. Carolina Panthers 2 6 0 86 30
26. St. Louis Rams 3 5 0 82 27
27. Oakland Raiders 3 5 0 80 25
28. Buffalo Bills 3 5 0 74 28
29. Tennessee Titans 3 6 0 63 26
30. Cleveland Browns 2 7 0 47 29
31. Jacksonville Jags 1 7 0 22 31
32. Kansas City Chiefs 1 7 0 14 32

COMMENTS ON THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Comments on the Minnesota Vikings by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses:

Chris Berman (ESPN, 21) — September was nice, huh?

Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 28) — Adrian Peterson is an all-time great, but Christian Ponder's slump is stifling the offense.

Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 21) — QB has taken a turn for the worse and that coincides with three losses in last four games.

Bob Glauber (Newsday, 16) — More issues for quarterback Christian Ponder, who hasn't even hit 65 passing yards in two of his last three games. Leslie Frazier says Ponder's job isn't on the line, but Joe Webb might want to keep that arm loose just in case.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 13) — Adrian Peterson has rushed for 100 yards in each of his last three games to surge into the NFL rushing lead with 957 yards. He has a 163-yard edge on runner-up Doug Martin of Tampa Bay.

Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 15) — Not even Adrian Peterson can save these guys from another so-so finish. The schedule just won't allow it.

Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 16) — Christian Ponder needs to find his September self.

Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 15) — Christian Ponder is struggling and unless he improves quickly the two-game losing streak will grow no matter how many yards AP runs for each week.

John Lynch (Fox Sports, 17) — A valiant effort from Adrian Peterson was wasted in Seattle as they can't throw the football right now. A defense that started the season playing great has forgotten how to tackle.

Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 16) — As I wrote last week, the Vikings face two challenges in the second half of the season: Getting second-year quarterback Christian Ponder back on track and compensating for the loss of cornerback Chris Cook (arm). They failed in both regards during last Sunday's loss to Seattle.

Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 14) — Adrian Peterson is a one-man gang. Unfortunately, it takes more than one man to play offense in the NFL.

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