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Editor's note: Rick Gosselin is in his 49th season reporting on the NFL in 2021. He has covered the Lions, Giants, Chiefs and Cowboys in his career plus 38 Super Bowls. He has served on the Hall of Fame selection committee and is a member of both the senior and contributor sub-committees. Gosselin also is one of the 12 voters for the AP 32, the weekly ranking of NFL teams conducted by the Associated Press. Here is his 12th week ballot:

1. Arizona. 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. Arizona now comes off its bye and expects both Murray and Hopkins back for its game in Chicago against the Bears. Last week: 1

2. Tampa Bay. Tom Brady continues his three-week trip down memory lane. Two weeks ago he played (and beat) the New York Giants, who faced Brady in two Super Bowls. Last week he played (and beat) the Indianapolis Colts, who faced Brady in two AFC title games. This week he plays the Atlanta Falcons, against whom Brady engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, rallying the Patriots from 25 points down for their record sixth Lombardi Trophy. Last week: 2

3. Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers will go into the Hall of Fame as a passer. But don’t sleep on his legs. The last nine times Rodgers has rushed for a touchdown the Packers have won – a streak that dates back five years. That includes a 3-0 record this season with his rushing touchdowns against Pittsburgh, Chicago and the Rams. The last time Rodgers rushed for a touchdown and the Packers failed to win was Nov. 11, 2016 at Tennessee. Last week: 3

4. Baltimore. A great weekend for the coaching Harbaugh brothers spelled a miserable weekend for the state of Ohio. Jim and his Michigan Wolverines defeated Ohio State on Saturday to win the Big Ten East, then John and his Baltimore Ravens upended the Cleveland Browns Sunday to hold onto first place in the AFC North with an 8-3 record. Last week: 6

5. New England. Bill Belichick has taken nine teams to the Super Bowl. There were two constants – Tom Brady and scoring defense. Brady scored points, and the defense didn’t allow any. Eight of his nine Super Bowl teams ranked in the Top 10 in scoring defense, including all six of his Super Bowl champions. Those champs led the NFL in scoring defense in both 2003 and 2016 and finished second in 2004. His current team no longer has Brady, but that great defense remains. New England has allowed the second fewest points in the NFL on the way to an 8-4 record. Last week: 9

6. Kansas City. The Chiefs were among the NFL’s best at ball security the last two seasons en route to a pair of AFC championships and a Lombardi Trophy. They were a plus-6 (takeaways minus giveaways) in 2020 and a plus-8 in 2019. With Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, the Chiefs didn’t beat themselves. But that hasn’t been the case this season. Kansas City leads the NFL with 22 turnovers – this after committing only 16 all of last season. They are a minus-7 on the season heading into a first-place showdown with the Denver Broncos Sunday. Last week: 7

7. Buffalo. If the Bills ever return to another Super Bowl, they will have a quarterback ready for the challenge of the NFC’s best team. Josh Allen has passed for four touchdowns in a game six times in his career. Four of them have come against NFC opponents. He burned both Washington and New Orleans for 4-TD games this season and both the Rams and Seahawks in 2020. Last week: 12

8. Cincinnati. The Bengals have resumed their chase of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC South by relying more on the legs of Joe Mixon than the arm of Joe Burrow. In the last two games, they scored victories over Las Vegas and Pittsburgh to move to 7-4, Burrow failed to throw for 200 yards either time and tossed just two TD passes. Mixon carried 30 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders, then carried 29 times for 165 yards and another two scores against the Steelers. He has a TD in eight consecutive games and now has 13 on the season. Last week: 13

9. LA Rams. Matthew Stafford was an MVP candidate through the first eight weeks of the season with his 22 touchdown passes to propel the Rams to the top of the NFC with a 7-1 record. But he has been limited to a single TD pass in each of his last three games and Los Angeles has lost all three to fall two games back of Arizona in the NFC West. And the Cardinals own the tie-breaker, having handed the Rams their only loss in those first eight weeks. Last week: 4

10. Tennessee. The Rams aren’t the only team in a bit of a tailspin. The Titans sat atop the NFL after 10 weeks with a 8-2 record but have since dropped two in a row to Houston and New England. QB Ryan Tannehill has been in the same rut as Stafford. He has thrown a single touchdown pass in each of those four games. With two-time NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry sidelined indefinitely with a broken foot, the Titans need more from Tannehill. Last week: 5

11. Dallas. Ezekiel Elliott has been slowed by a knee injury. It shows. Since the bye, his rushing production over a five-game stretch has been on a continuous slide – 60, 51, 41, 32 and, finally, 25 yards in that Thanksgiving loss to the Raiders. He has scored nine touchdowns this season but eight of them have come at home. Dallas plays its next three games on the road – New Orleans, Washington and New York (Giants). And the Cowboys hit the road for New Orleans Thursday night without head coach Mike McCarthy, who is in Covid protocol. Last Week: 8

12. Indianapolis. The Eagles may want to revisit their offseason decision to dump QB Carson Wentz on the Colts. Philadelphia has only 13 TD passes this season and ranks 30th in the NFL in passing. Wentz has thrown 21 touchdown passes. The Eagles have tossed eight interceptions, Wentz just five. Wentz has the Colts in the playoff hunt at 6-6 while the Eagles are spinning their wheels near the bottom of the NFC East at 5-7. It’s a passing league and the Colts can. The Eagles can’t. Last week: 10

13. San Francisco. Rookie RB Elijah Mitchell is heating up and so are the 49ers. In his last five games he has rung up 100 yards in three games and 90-plus in another. He rushed for 133 yards against Minnesota last weekend to help extend San Francisco’s winning streak to three games and move the 49ers back into the playoff hunt with a 6-5 record. Last week: 17

14. Las Vegas. The NFC East has done its best to keep the AFC West race close. The NFC East has played 14 games against the AFC West this season and lost 11 of them. The Chiefs are 4-0 against the East, the Broncos 3-1 and the Chargers and Raiders each 2-1. The Broncos, Chiefs and Raiders have all beaten the NFC East-leading Cowboys and the Chargers lost to Dallas on a 56-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein on the final snap of the game. Last week: 18

15. Denver. There were five cornerbacks drafted in the first round last April. Patrick Surtain is the star of that class by default. He has three interceptions, including two last weekend against the Chargers. He ran one of them back 70 yards for a touchdown. Surtain was the ninth overall pick of the draft. Jaycee Horne was the No. 8 pick by Carolina, but injuries have limited him to three games. Caleb Farley was the 22nd pick by Tennessee and injuries have also limited him to three games. Greg Newsome was the 26th pick by the Browns but is still looking for his first interception. Greg Stokes, the 29th choice by the Packers, has one pick. Last week: 19

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16. LA Chargers. Since the eighth week of the season, there have been 13 interceptions returned for touchdowns in the NFL. Los Angeles quarterbacks have served up five of them. Matthew Stafford of the Rams has thrown three of the pick-sixes and Justin Herbert of the Chargers the other two. They both had interceptions for scores in road defeats last weekend. Last week: 11

17. Cleveland. In a scheduling quirk, the Browns play back-to-back games against the same opponent – the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens. The catch is there is a bye between games – and that bye for Cleveland comes this week. The Browns went into Baltimore Sunday night and lost to the Ravens, 16-10. The rematch will be in Cleveland in two Sundays. The Last week: 14

18. Minnesota. The Vikings are getting to the quarterback. They just aren’t getting to the win column – at least not enough. The 5-6 Vikings lead the NFL with 33 sacks and are the only team in the league with at least two sacks in every game. They have a five-sack game, a pair of four-sack games and four more three-sack games. Last week: 16

19. Miami. You draft wide receivers in the first round hoping they will have an instant impact on your offense. But Jaylen Waddle was slow out of the gate for the Dolphins. The sixth overall pick of the 2021 draft, Waddle didn’t post his first 100-yard receiving day until his 12th game last weekend. But don’t judge wide receivers on how they start their careers. Jerry Rice didn’t have his first 100-yard day until his 14th game and Larry Fitzgerald waited until his 17th career game for his first 100. They rank 1-2 on the NFL’s all-time receiving list. Last week: 23

20. Atlanta. The Falcons have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 28 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NFL. The last back to rush for 100 against Atlanta was Tampa Bay’s Ronald Jones in the 2019 season finale. Last week: 25

21. Washington. Joe Gibbs would love what Scott Turner has done to the Washington offense – he’s running the ball. Washington has rushed for 436 yards over the last three weeks to build a three-game winning streak and vault to No. 9 in the NFL in rushing. Antonio Gibson rushed for 111 yards against Seattle Monday night to become Washington’s first 100-yard rusher of the season. Last week: 22

22. Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown a touchdown pass in all 10 of his starts this season. Unfortunately for the Steelers, He has thrown a single touchdown pass in seven of those games. And an offense that was built around Big Ben’s arm has floundered in this 5-5-1 start to the season. Pittsburgh ranks 22nd in offense and 23rd in points. The other two quarterbacks who were selected in the top 11 picks of the 2004 draft, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, both retired after last season. It appears Roethlisberger may have stayed one year too long. Last week: 15

23. Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts has passed for fewer than 200 yards in each of his last five starts. He also has completed fewer than 20 passes in all of those starts with three combined touchdowns and four interceptions. He ranks 28th in the league in passing efficiency. Over the last eight weeks, he has more rushing touchdowns (7) than passing (6). Last week: 20

24. New Orleans. The Saints take a four-game losing streak, the longest current skid in the league, into Thursday night’s home game against the Cowboys. It’s the longest losing streak by the Saints since 2015. That also was a four-game skid. The last time New Orleans lost five consecutive games was in the pre-Drew Brees era in 2005 when the Saints dropped six in a row. Last week: 21

25. Seattle. Russell Wilson returned to the Seattle offense after the bye. Now the Seahawks need to get D.K. Metcalf to return to the offense. He has played all three of the games since Wilson’s return from injury but he has barely been an active participant. He averaged 5.2 catches and 81.4 yards per game last season on his way to his first Pro Bowl. a year ago. But he has caught only eight passes for 60 yards combined these last three games, all losses. Metcalf is Seattle’s game-breaker. The Seahawks need to give him the chance to break games. Last week: 26

26. Carolina. Pro Bowl RB Christian McCaffrey missed five games earlier in the season with an ankle injury. Now he’ll miss the final five games with another ankle injury. That’s bad news for the Panthers. Carolina is 5-7 -- 4-3 with McCaffrey on the field and 1-4 without him. Last week: 24

27. Chicago. Andy Dalton passed for 317 yards last week filling in for an injured Justin Fields – the first 300-yard passing game of the season for the Bears. Only one NFL team is still without an individual 300-yard passing game this season, the New Orleans Saints. Last week: 27

28. NY Giants. With the upset of the Eagles Sunday, the Giants now have won three consecutive games at home to move to 4-7. Unfortunately, New York also has an active three-game road losing streak – and the Giants play four of their next five on the road in three different time zones – Eastern (Miami and Philadelphia), Pacific (Los Angeles Chargers) and finally Central (Chicago). Last week: 28

29. NY Jets. Defense has become an after-thought for the 3-8 Jets. Only one team has allowed fewer yards and no team has allowed more points (334). The New Yorkers have also forced only nine turnovers, third fewest in the league. Fortunately for the Jets, their next four opponents are all offensively challenged. Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami and Jacksonville all rank in the bottom half of the league in offense. The Eagles and Saints can’t pass, the Dolphins can’t run and the Jaguars can’t score. All that gives the Jets a chance in December. Last week: 31

30. Houston. Tyrod Taylor is back at quarterback for the Texans but the passing game went to the bench with rookie Davis Mills. In his last start filling in for the injured Taylor, Mills passed for 310 yards against the Rams – his second 300-yard game of the season. But in the two games since then Taylor passed for 107 yards against Tennessee and 158 yards against the Jets. Little wonder the Texans rank 31st in the league in passing yards and 27th in touchdown passes (12). Last week: 29

31. Jacksonville. The back who doesn’t fumble finally fumbled. James Robinson lost only one fumble in 2020 on his way to a 1,070-yard rookie season. That turnover came in the fifth game of the season. He didn’t fumble again until the 11th game of the 2021 season. Robinson went 289 carries between fumbles and now has only the two fumbles in 369 career carries. Last week: 30

32. Detroit. The NFL is waiting on Khalif Raymond. He has been one of the few bright spots for the winless Lions this season. His 48-yard punt return is the longest in the NFL this season and his 12.3-yard average ranks third in the league. But through 12 weeks the NFL has yet to see a punt return for touchdown -- the first time since 1960 the league has gone into the month of December without a punt return for a score. Last week: 32