NEW YORK (AP) — Despite losing for the second time in three weeks, the Seattle Seahawks remained atop The Associated Press NFL power rankings Tuesday.
Seattle was upset by Arizona last Sunday, its first loss at home all season. Yet the Seahawks (12-3) stayed in first place with 379 points, nine in front of Denver, which also is 12-3. Seattle grabbed eight first-place votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league, and Denver got the other four.
Both teams have clinched playoff berths.
"The Rams game is now huge," NBC's Tony Dungy said of the Seahawks' season closer. "They need a win to keep the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
ESPN's Herm Edwards went with Denver on top, citing Peyton Manning's record-setting exploits.
"When you set the NFL record throwing 51 touchdowns and you have one game left, you are No. 1," Edwards said of the Broncos, who own the AFC West title.
San Francisco, Carolina and New England, all with 11-4 records, were next in the AP Pro32. They also are in the playoffs.
"Still trying to figure out how Brady and Belichick won their 11th AFC East championship," Fox Sports' John Czarnecki said of the Patriots.
Of the 49ers, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com said: "Flexing their muscle a bit roaring down the stretch with five consecutive wins."
And Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune noted about Carolina: "Luke Kuechly won't let the NFC South title elude the Panthers, who have won 10 of 11."