Saints, Rams, Bears end as high Three in AP Professional32 ballot


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NEW YORK (AP) — The chase to Atlanta is on.

The common season is over and there are 12 groups remaining within the run to the Tremendous Bowl.

And on the high of the AP Professional32 ballot, the brand new yr begins proper the place the earlier one ended.

The New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears, the highest three seeds within the NFC, retained their high three spots within the remaining AP Professional32 ballot of the season.

New Orleans obtained 11 of the 12 first-place votes for 382 factors in balloting Wednesday by media members who commonly cowl the NFL. New Orleans will open the playoffs at house within the divisional spherical on Sunday, Jan 13.

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“The Saints misplaced in Week 1 and Week 17, each at house,” stated Ira Kaufman of Fox 13 in Tampa, Florida. “In between, Drew Brees and firm established themselves because the staff to beat within the Tremendous Bowl chase.”

The Rams, who additionally completed 13-Three within the common season, will begin their postseason on the Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 12.

The Bears will shut wild-card weekend once they host the defending Tremendous Bowl champion Eagles on Sunday.

The following six spots within the ballot are all taken by the AFC’s playoffs groups.

The Chiefs, who’ve the AFC’s high seed, are No. 4. Kansas Metropolis, which obtained the remaining first-place vote — from John Czarnecki of Fox Sports activities — has received the AFC West for 3 consecutive seasons.

Patrick Mahomes, who completed with 5,097 yards and 50 TD passes, will attempt to get Kansas Metropolis its first house playoff win because the 1993 season.

“MVP front-runner Patrick Mahomes completed a superb first season as a starter with 50 landing passes,” stated Newsday’s Bob Glauber. “With home-field benefit within the AFC playoffs, is a Tremendous Bowl berth subsequent?”

The Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots completed in a tie at No. 5 within the ballot.

The Patriots, who received the AFC East for the 10th straight season and 15th time previously 16 seasons, are the No. 2 seed within the AFC. They’re attempting to succeed in their ninth Tremendous Bowl within the Invoice Belichick-Tom Brady period. They’re additionally attempting to turn into the primary staff because the 1990s Buffalo Payments to return to the Tremendous Bowl after dropping it the earlier season, and the primary because the 1992 Payments to make a 3rd successive journey to the massive recreation.

The Chargers, regardless of ending with the identical report because the Chiefs at 12-4, misplaced the tiebreaker and are the No. 5 seed within the AFC. They are going to head to Baltimore to face the AFC North champion Ravens on Sunday. The Ravens are No. 9 within the ballot.

AFC South rivals Houston and Indianapolis are Nos. 7 and eight within the ballot. These groups will open the postseason in Houston on Saturday once they meet for the third time after splitting their earlier conferences.

“Simply want that they had one other WR,” Czarnecki stated of the Texans. Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins completed second within the NFL with 1,572 yards, however the depth took a success when Demaryius Thomas was misplaced for the season with an Achilles tendon harm.

Seattle and Dallas, who meet Saturday night time in Texas, are 10th and 11th within the ballot. The Seahawks and Cowboys each completed 10-6. They met in Seattle in Week 3, when the Seahawks received 24-13.

The staff that made the largest climb from the primary ballot, which was launched earlier than the season began, was the Bears, who began out at No. 28 and completed at No. 3. And the staff that had the largest drop was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who started at No. 7 and ended up at No. 28.

The Arizona Cardinals, who completed with the worst report within the NFL at 3-13 and have the No. 1 decide in April’s draft, have been a unanimous alternative for final place within the ballot.


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The Related Press contributed to this report.

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