By SIMMI BUTTAR
AP Pro Football Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The Pack are back.
Aaron Rodgers’ return helped lift the Green Bay Packers four places to the top spot of the latest AP Pro32 poll.
Rodgers missed the Packers’ Week 9 loss in Kansas City after testing positive for COVID-19. However, the reigning MVP returned for Sunday’s 17-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Packers received six of the 12 first-place votes for 378 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
“Defense coming on and (running back) A.J. Dillon packs a power punch, won without Rodgers throwing a TD,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said.
The surging Tennessee Titans, who have won six in a row, got the remaining six first-place votes for 375 points to remain in second place.
Another first-place NFC team, the Dallas Cowboys, climbed four places all the way to No. 3 after a blowout win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Cowboys head to Kansas City to face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Sunday in one of the top matchups of Week 10. The Chiefs rocketed up five spots to round out the top 10 after routing the Las Vegas Raiders 41-14.
“The Packers, now that they have Rodgers back, are my pick this week,” said Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.
“The Titans, perhaps, have the most impressive resume thus far. The Cowboys were impressive Sunday, but it’s hard to overlook last week’s game against the Broncos. That was a rout against a team that was routed by the Eagles this week.
“It appears the Chiefs are back, but I need to see it again this week against the Cowboys to be sure.”
The Arizona Cardinals, last week’s top team, dropped three spots to No. 4 after a 34-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The Buffalo Bills rebounded after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars by dominating the New York Jets 45-17 and gained two spots to No. 5.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers slid three places to No. 6 after dropping their second consecutive game, this one to Washington. The Bucs will finish off Week 10 when they host the New York Giants on Monday night.
The Los Angeles Rams also dropped their second in row and fell three spots to No. 7 after losing to the San Francisco 49ers 31-10 on Monday night.
“Matthew Stafford threw a league-leading three interceptions for touchdowns last season when he quarterbacked the Detroit Lions,” said Rick Gosselin of Talk of Fame Network.
“He now has thrown interceptions for touchdowns in back-to-back games this month for the Rams. Joe Burrow (Bengals), Derek Carr (Raiders), Mac Jones (Patriots) and Matt Ryan (Falcons) have also thrown two interceptions for scores this season.”
Don’t look now, but the New England Patriots are back in the top 10. The Patriots, who climbed four spots to No. 8, have won four in a row and trail the Bills by only half a game in the AFC East. The Patriots, coming off a 45-7 rout of Cleveland, will open Week 10 when they head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons on Thursday.
“The Patriots look like contenders once more, as rookie Mac Jones gets more comfortable each week and (coach) Bill Belichick gets his team playing the kind of intelligent football that helped create a dynasty,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.
“Jones is no Tom Brady, but he looks good enough to get this team back into the tournament.”
And the Baltimore Ravens fell three places to No. 9 after last week’s loss at Miami.
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