Packers stay on top of AP Pro32 poll; Chiefs, Bucs follow

Sports
Week 13

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Baltimore. Green Bay won 31-30. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK (AP) — With three games to go in the regular season, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are on quite a roll.

— NFC North champs.

— Top record overall in the NFL at 11-3.

— And maintaining their top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll.

The Packers earned all 12 of the first-place votes for 384 points in balloting Wednesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

The Packers clinched their division on Sunday after holding off the Baltimore Ravens. And the Packers will stay at home on Christmas as they host the Cleveland Browns.

“Aaron Rodgers is starting to put some separation between himself and the rest of the field in the MVP race, and a Packers team that had a tougher time than expected in Baltimore is still in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the NFC,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

The surging Kansas City Chiefs, who have won seven in a row, moved up two spots to No. 2 after topping the Los Angeles Chargers in OT last week. The defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers slipped a spot to No. 3 after getting blanked at home by New Orleans on Sunday night.

The LA Rams gained two spots to No. 4 after getting past the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday night in a game delayed two days because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Another NFC team moving up two places is Dallas, now at No. 5 in the poll. The Cowboys will face Washington on Sunday night in a key NFC East matchup.

The New England Patriots fell three places to No. 6 after losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night. The Colts’ 27-17 win lifted them four spots to No. 8.

“(Running back Jonathan) Taylor and a dynamite, turnover-feasting defense make them a scary playoff team,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said of Indianapolis.

The Patriots host the Bills on Sunday in a game that could go a long way toward deciding the AFC East. The Bills inched up a spot to round out the top 10 after handling the Carolina Panthers.

The Colts head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals on Christmas night. The Cardinals, who were No. 1 in the poll as recently as two weeks ago, dropped another two spots to No. 7 after their stunning blowout loss at Detroit.

And the Tennessee Titans, trying to fight off the Colts in the AFC South, open Week 16 as they host the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. The Titans are ranked ninth, the Niners are 12th.

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