The regular season is over and there are 12 teams remaining in the run to the Super Bowl.And at the top of the AP Pro32 poll http://www.ravensauthorizedshops.com/authentic-willie-snead-iv-jersey
, the new year starts right where the previous one ended. The New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears, the top three seeds in the NFC, retained their top three spots in the final AP Pro32 poll of the season.New Orleans received 11 of the 12 first-place votes for 382 points in balloting Wednesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL. New Orleans will open the playoffs at home in the divisional round on Sunday, Jan 13."The Saints lost in Week 1 and Week 17, both at home," said Ira Kaufman of Fox 13 in Tampa, Florida. "In between, Drew Brees and company established themselves as the team to beat in the Super Bowl chase."The Rams, who also finished 13-3 in the regular season, will start their postseason at the Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 12.The Bears will close wild-card weekend when they host the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles on Sunday.The next six spots in the poll are all taken by the AFC's playoffs teams.The Chiefs, who have the AFC's top seed, are No. 4. Kansas City, which received the remaining first-place vote — from John Czarnecki of Fox Sports — has won the AFC West for three consecutive seasons.Patrick Mahomes, who finished with 5,097 yards and 50 TD passes Alex Collins Jersey
, will try to get Kansas City its first home playoff win since the 1993 season."MVP front-runner Patrick Mahomes finished a brilliant first season as a starter with 50 touchdown passes," said Newsday's Bob Glauber. "With home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, is a Super Bowl berth next?"The Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots finished in a tie at No. 5 in the poll.The Patriots, who won the AFC East for the 10th straight season and 15th time in the past 16 seasons, are the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They are trying to reach their ninth Super Bowl in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era. They are also trying to become the first team since the 1990s Buffalo Bills to return to the Super Bowl after losing it the previous season, and the first since the 1992 Bills to make a third successive trip to the big game.The Chargers, despite finishing with the same record as the Chiefs at 12-4, lost the tiebreaker and are the No. 5 seed in the AFC. They will head to Baltimore to face the AFC North champion Ravens on Sunday. The Ravens are No. 9 in the poll.AFC South rivals Houston and Indianapolis are Nos. 7 and 8 in the poll. Those teams will open the postseason in Houston on Saturday when they meet for the third time after splitting their previous meetings."Just wish they had another WR," Czarnecki said of the Texans. Houston's DeAndre Hopkins finished second in the NFL with 1,572 yards, but the depth took a hit when Demaryius Thomas was lost for the season with an Achilles tendon injury.Seattle and Dallas, who meet Saturday night in Texas, are 10th and 11th in the poll. The Seahawks and Cowboys both finished 10-6. They met in Seattle in Week 3, when the Seahawks won 24-13.The team that made the biggest climb from the first poll, which was released before the season started, was the Bears, who started out at No. 28 and finished at No. 3. And the team that had the biggest drop was the Jacksonville Jaguars Authentic Patrick Onwuasor Jersey
, who began at No. 7 and ended up at No. 28.The Arizona Cardinals, who finished with the worst record in the NFL at 3-13 and have the No. 1 pick in April's draft, were a unanimous choice for last place in the poll. Lamar Jackson ran 27 times and threw only 19 passes to win his first NFL start.That's not a typo.Filling in for injured quarterback Joe Flacco, Jackson ran for 117 yards in Baltimore's 24-21 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner had more rushing attempts than any quarterback since 1970 and became the first to gain over 100 yards since Colin Kaepernick had 113 on Nov. 27, 2016. Calling his own number worked so Ravens coach John Harbaugh let Jackson tuck it and take off all day. But old-school football won't cut it in a pass-crazy league where quarterbacks are posting ridiculous numbers every week. Even Harbaugh realizes Jackson can't run the ball at that pace in the future."Yeah, you don't want your quarterback getting hit that much," Harbaugh said Monday. "It's not going to last that way. So, that's pretty self-evident."Plenty of running quarterbacks have been successful, though taking hits exposes them to more injuries. Michael Vick is the all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks but he missed a bunch of games during his career. Carson Wentz isn't considered a "running QB" but he tore two knee ligaments on a scramble last season and missed the playoffs and Super Bowl."Quarterbacks don't run forever in the NFL," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said after Jackson juked and sprinted his way past his team. "Sooner or later, they get hurt, and they don't run the same."NOT INTERESTED: After losing quarterback Alex Smith for the rest of the season, the NFC East-leading Redskins signed Mark Sanchez to be Colt McCoy's backup. They also worked out Kellen Clemens, Josh Johnson, T.J. Yates and EJ Manuel.Sanchez hasn't started a game since 2015. He has thrown 86 touchdown passes and has 86 interceptions with a 73.9 career passer rating. Clemens (16 TDs, 21 INTs, 68.9) Youth Michael Crabtree Jersey
, Johnson (5 TDs, 10 INTs, 57.7), Yates (10 TDs, 11 INTs, 70.7) and Manuel (20 TDs, 16 INTs, 77.1) are much less impressive. But there's an unsigned quarterback — Kaepernick — with 72 TDs, 30 INTs and 88.9 rating. He's also 4-2 in the playoffs. Like the rest of the NFL, the Redskins weren't interested.RUNNING IT UP: Saints coach Sean Payton defended his decision to go for a fourth-and-7 leading by 31 points early in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees threw a 37-yard TD pass to Alvin Kamara with 13:15 left in a 45-7 win over Philadelphia. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who began his career with the Saints and was beat on the play, wasn't pleased. He raised both of his middle fingers at Payton. But Jenkins spoke to Payton after the game and told a reporter: "I'm a competitor. I love Sean to death. I know what type of guy and coach he is. That was more so personal between me and him."UNAGGRESSIVE DOUG: Eagles coach Doug Pederson's unconventional style was lauded during the team's run to a Super Bowl victory last season, but he's played it safe more often this year. On the opening possession in Philadelphia's lopsided loss at New Orleans, the Eagles faced a fourth down and less than a yard at the Saints 24. Pederson elected to punt even though his offense needed to try and score and keep Brees and Co. off the field as long as possible."That's one I look at that maybe you do something different right," Pederson said in hindsight.NO CHALLENGE: Broncos coach Vance Joseph decided not to challenge a 2-point conversion to save a timeout and it nearly cost him until Brandon McManus kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Chargers. Joseph chose not to toss the red flag after Case Keenum came up short on a 2-point draw following Phillip Lindsay's touchdown run that put Denver ahead 20-19 with 12 minutes left. He said one of the officials told the quarterback his team should challenge the call because it was so close. But Joseph said his assistants in the booth didn't see it clearly enough to risk losing a timeout.