Vikings move up three in AP Pro32 rankings

Adrian Peterson (Matthew Stockman/Getty)

The Vikings moved up three spots in the latest AP Pro32 power rankings, which featured a new top dog.

See ya, Houston. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have taken over the top spot in the AP Pro32 NFL power rankings.

Hours after routing the previous No. 1 Texans 42-14, the Patriots were back on top of the rankings for the first time since Week 2. Houston held the No. 1 spot for a month before tumbling to fourth following its second loss of the season.

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are second, with the San Francisco 49ers third as they prepare to visit New England on Sunday night.

The Patriots (10-3) received 11 of 12 first-place votes and 383 points Tuesday in balloting by The Associated Press' panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Denver (10-3) got the other first-place vote and had 369 points.

"That was quite a message they sent to the league Monday night, said ESPN's Chris Berman of the Patriots' seventh straight win.

"The Patriots played a near flawless game and are taking form to make a serious run at the Lombardi," said Fox Sports' John Lynch. "A potential Super Bowl preview awaits Sunday night with the 49ers."

The Broncos, meanwhile, take an eight-game winning streak into their game against Baltimore, which fell into a tie for eighth after an overtime loss to Washington.

"Peyton Manning is making his pitch for a record fourth NFL MVP award. He has steered Denver to eight consecutive victories and thrown 19 TD passes during that stretch," said the Dallas Morning News' Rick Gosselin, the only voter who had Denver No. 1 this week.

The Atlanta Falcons dropped two spots to fifth after their loss to Carolina, and Green Bay and the New York Giants were tied for sixth.

Seattle made the biggest advance after its 58-0 rout of Arizona, up four places to eighth.

"It's like Pete Carroll is back at USC beating up on Washington State. Seahawks absolutely pummel Cardinals 58-0, only 11 points from equaling Carroll's most lopsided win in college," said Newsday's Bob Glauber.

Jacksonville is 32nd and last.

THE RANKINGS

The Associated Press Pro32 NFL Power Rankings, as voted by a 12-member panel, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 11, total points based on 32 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 32nd-place vote, and previous ranking:
Pl. Team		W	L	T	Pts	Pvs
1. New England (11)	10	3	0	383	2
2. Denver Broncos (1)	10	3	0	369	4
3. San Francisco 49ers	9	3	1	352	5
4. Houston Texans	11	2	0	344	1
5. Atlanta Falcons	11	2	0	333	2
6. Green Bay Packers	9	4	0	321	7
6. New York Giants	8	5	0	321	8
8. Baltimore Ravens	9	4	0	292	6
8. Seattle Seahawks	8	5	0	292	12
10. Indianapolis Colts	9	4	0	284	10
11. Washington Redskins	7	6	0	259	14
12. Chicago Bears	8	5	0	248	9
13. Pittsburgh Steelers	7	6	0	234	11
14. Dallas Cowboys	7	6	0	229	16
15. Minnesota Vikings	7	6	0	222	18
16. Cincinnati Bengals	7	6	0	221	13
17. St. Louis Rams	6	6	1	180	19
18. Tampa Bay Bucs	6	7	0	176	15
19. New Orleans Saints	5	8	0	159	17
20. New York Jets	6	7	0	145	23
21. San Diego Chargers	5	8	0	141	24
22. Cleveland Browns	5	8	0	136	25
23. Miami Dolphins	5	8	0	127	20
24. Detroit Lions	4	9	0	106	22
25. Carolina Panthers	4	9	0	101	27
26. Buffalo Bills	5	8	0	100	21
27. Philadelphia Eagles	4	9	0	77	29
28. Tennessee Titans	4	9	0	62	26
29. Arizona Cardinals	4	9	0	39	28
30. Kansas City Chiefs	2	11	0	29	30
30. Oakland Raiders	3	10	0	29	31
32. Jacksonville Jags	2	11	0	25	32

COMMENTS ABOUT THE VIKINGS (15)

Chris Berman (ESPN, 14) — Adrian Peterson is Superman.

Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 16) — Even when opponents load the box, Adrian Peterson excels.

Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 14) — Adrian Peterson is having an MVP type season. Now all they need is some more production from Ponder and the passing attack.

Bob Glauber (Newsday, 13) — Not sure we've seen anything like Adrian Peterson before. Still not even a year since reconstructive surgery, and he just might be a 2,000-yard rusher.

Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 15) — Adrian Peterson is averaging 157 yards rushing in his last seven games with eight touchdowns. He's topped 100 yards all seven of those games.

Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 14) — The more I see of Adrian Peterson the more I'd recommend defenses use kryptonite instead of eight-man fronts.

Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 14) — Adrian Peterson wants the NFL rushing record; who's going to stop him?

Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 16) — If one non-quarterback could carry his team to the postseason it's Adrian Peterson. He sees eight or nine in the box all the time and he runs through the defense anyway. Without Percy Harvin there aren't enough other weapons to help Christian Ponder.

John Lynch (Fox Sports, 15) — The remarkable comeback of Adrian Peterson was again in full display against the Bears and he, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will compete for the league MVP.

Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 15) — With the way he is running, Adrian Peterson may be able to carry the Vikings all the way into the playoffs while breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark of 2,105 yards.

Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 15) — They have the best one-dimensional offense in the NFL.

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