NEW YORK – The status quo reigns at the top of the AP Pro32 poll.
The Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers retained the top three spots in the latest poll.
The Cardinals, who were on a bye last week, received eight of the 12 first-place votes for 378 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
The Cardinals return to action on Sunday, when they take on the Bears in Chicago.
“The Cardinals are survivalists. They played their last three games without their two best players, QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins, and managed to win two of them to maintain the best record in the NFL at 9-2,” said Rick Gosselin of Talk of Fame Network.
Arizona expects both Murray and Hopkins to play Sunday.
The Packers, who earned the remaining four first-place votes for 368 points, are coming off an impressive 36-28 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Green Bay has a bye this week.
“Aaron Rodgers walked off to chants of ‘MVP! MVP!’ at Lambeau Field after vanquishing the Rams, and the venerable quarterback welcomed the sentiment,” Newsday's Bob Glauber said.
“There’s no debate he’s in the mix to become the first repeat winner since Peyton Manning in 2009.”
The defending champion Buccaneers rallied for a 38-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
The New England Patriots, who have won six in a row and lead the AFC East, continued their surge in the poll as they moved up two spots to No. 4. The Patriots will conclude Week 13 with a Monday night game at the division rival Buffalo Bills. The Bills also moved up in the poll, gaining three spots to No. 7 after they routed the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving night.
Another team coming off a bye, the Kansas City Chiefs, slipped a spot to No. 5.
The Baltimore Ravens, after holding off the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night, moved up one place to No. 6.
The reeling Tennessee Titans, who have lost two in a row, will enter their bye week at No. 8 after dropping three places following their loss at New England.
The Cincinnati Bengals moved up four spots to No. 9 after topping the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And the No. 10 Dallas Cowboys, coming off an overtime loss to Las Vegas on Thanksgiving, will open Week 13 as they head to New Orleans to take on the Saints.
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