Packers back on top of AP Pro32 poll; Bucs, Pats follow

National Sports

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers reacts after an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 45-30. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

NEW YORK (AP) — After another dominating win, Aaron Rodgers still owns the Chicago Bears.

Another thing his team owns: the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll for the first time in a month.

The Green Bay Packers earned five of the 12 first-place votes for 375 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

The Packers gained a spot in the poll and currently have the top seed in the NFC going into Week 15 and the final month of the regular season. They beat the Bears 45-30 on Sunday night for their sixth consecutive victory over their longtime rival.

“Aaron Rodgers still owns the Bears, and the Packers are in the driver’s seat for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

“Since his Week 1 clunker against the Saints, Rodgers has 27 touchdowns, two interceptions and a great shot at a second straight MVP.”

Despite having more first-place votes than the Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are No. 2 in the poll.

The Bucs also moved up a spot after their 33-27 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bucs have six first-place votes for 370 points.

The New England Patriots, coming off a bye, earned the remaining first-place vote as they climbed one place to No. 3. The Patriots currently have the No. 1 seed in the AFC and will look to extend their seven-game win streak on Saturday night when they head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts.

The surging Kansas City Chiefs, who have won six in a row, moved up one spot to No. 4 after routing the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs will open Week 15 on the road when they face the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night. The Chargers, in second place in the AFC West, moved up three spots to No. 9.

The Arizona Cardinals, who were No. 1, dropped all the way down to No. 5 after losing 30-23 on Monday night to the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams’ win lifted them four spots to No. 6 and they trail the Cards by just a game in the division.

The NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys moved up a spot to No. 7 after topping Washington on Sunday.

Despite blanking the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 20-0, the Tennessee Titans dropped two spots No. 8.

“The Titans are 9-4 and two inexplicable losses away from the top seed in the AFC,” said Rick Gosselin of Talk of Fame Network.

“Tennessee has beaten the Bills, Chiefs and Rams this season and also swept its AFC South series from the Colts. All are in the playoff chase.

“But mixed in with all that glitter is a pair of losses to the 2-11 Texans and 3-10 Jets. The Titans lost to the Jets 27-24 despite a 157-yard rushing game from Derrick Henry and fell to the Texans 22-13 despite a 323-yard passing game from Ryan Tannehill. Go figure.”

Another first-place AFC team that dropped was the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens fell four spots to No. 10 after losing 24-22 to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The Ravens, who lead the AFC North by a game, will host the Packers in a high-profile Week 15 matchup.

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