NORMAN — The Seattle Seahawks are a clear choice at the top of the AP Pro32 power rankings. The pecking order behind them is much more jumbled.
The Seahawks backed up last week’s unanimous No. 1 vote by blowing out New Orleans and knocking the Saints from second to fifth in balloting from the 12-member panel that regularly covers the league.
“Pencil in the Seahawks as favorites for their first-ever Lombardi Trophy,” wrote Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News.
Denver, New England, Carolina and the Saints got second-place votes, with the Broncos finishing 10 points ahead of a third-place tie between the Patriots and Panthers, who have won eight straight games.
New Orleans is another 11 points back in fifth after a 34-7 loss to Seattle. The Panthers visit the Saints on Sunday night.
“I can’t drop the Saints because of the Seahawk game,” wrote Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM and CBSSports.com. “Next week the Panther game tells the tale of the Saints.”
No. 6 San Francisco switched places with Kansas City after the Chiefs lost to the Broncos for the second time in three weeks. Throw in a loss to San Diego, and Kansas City has lost three straight after a 9-0 start.
“Talent issues and a lack of depth at key spots have gotten exposed in Kansas City’s three-game losing streak,” wrote Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com.
Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Philadelphia rounded out the top 10 after all three won close games Sunday.
Detroit jumped over Dallas to No. 11 after the Lions rolled over Green Bay and the Cowboys had a tighter win against Oakland on Thanksgiving. Arizona dropped four spots to 13th after a 24-21 loss to the Eagles.
Baltimore and Miami shared the biggest jump of the week at five spots, with the Ravens moving up to No. 14 followed by the Dolphins. The Ravens held off Pittsburgh and the Dolphins dominated the New York Jets.