AP Pro Football Writer
For the third time in four weeks, the Seattle Seahawks drew every first-place vote in the AP Pro32 power rankings from a nationwide panel of media members who cover the NFL. Seattle easily outdistanced Denver in Tuesday’s balloting.
Last week, the Broncos received two first-place selections. But after losing to San Diego, they fell 19 points behind the Seahawks in the power poll.
"They have the look of the most-balanced team in the league at the moment -- the highest scoring differential in the NFL at plus-175," said Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com.
"The only concern the Seahawks may have the rest of the way is the weather in New York on the first weekend of February," added Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.
San Francisco was third, followed by Kansas City and Carolina.
The Panthers face off with New Orleans, ranked seventh and down four spots, for the NFC South lead on Sunday in Carolina.
"Better find a way to win on the road vs. Carolina this week or it will be a short playoff run," NBC Sports’ Tony Dungy said of the Saints.
"You don’t want to play this team in the first round of the playoffs," ESPN’s Herm Edwards said of the Panthers.
Several other division leaders also dropped after losses.
"Tom Brady is running out of passing options and the defense is a shell of its former self," John Czarnecki of Fox Sports said of the Patriots.
"The division was theirs for the taking with Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers out and they go 1-4 in their last five games," Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio said of the Lions and their flop in the NFC North.
Moving up this week were Kansas City, from seventh to fourth; St. Louis, 21st to 18th; Buffalo, 28th to 23rd; and Minnesota, 27th to 24th.
"Jamaal Charles is making a late run for league MVP honors -- and he’s got Andy Reid’s vote," Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune said of the Chiefs’ star running back who scored five touchdowns against Oakland on Sunday.
"Vikings still are playing hard for Leslie Frazier in an upset home win without Adrian Peterson," Newsday’s Bob Glauber said of the victory over Philadelphia. "But it still may not be enough to save (coach) Leslie Frazier’s job."
Washington and Houston, both division winners in 2013, were 31st and 32nd.