January 3, 2012
The Denver Broncos are heading to the playoffs as the top team in the final AP Pro32 NFL power rankings of the season.
Led by Peyton Manning, the Broncos (13-3) closed the regular season on an 11-game winning streak. The AFC West champs received 10 first-place votes and 382 points in balloting Wednesday by The Associated Press' panel of 12 media members who regularly cover the league.
The New England Patriots moved up to second with one-first place vote and 361 points. The San Francisco 49ers were third with the other first-place vote and 352 points.
The top 12 teams are all in the playoffs, with Chicago the highest-ranked non-playoff team at 13th.
Atlanta was fourth; Seattle fifth.
Indianapolis was the biggest surprise, starting 32nd and last and finishing ninth.
Kansas City (2-14) finished 32nd.