Packers take top spot in AP Pro32 poll after Patriots' loss

NEW YORK — After the opening week of the NFL season, it's so easy to overreact, given such a small sample.

That's not an issue for the Green Bay Packers. They started the season last week at No. 2 in the first AP Pro32 poll and opened with a 17-9 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

And after the defending champion New England Patriots were routed in their opener, the Packers took advantage.

Green Bay grabbed the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll , which was released on Tuesday, receiving seven of 12 first-place votes for 376 points in balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

"The Packers take the top spot because in Week 1, they looked like they finally have the championship-level defense to match their QB," said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback. "A big test will be to see if they can keep it up this week against Atlanta."

In all, six teams received a first-place vote.

The Kansas City Chiefs earned one of those first-place votes to reach 367 points, jumping five places to No. 2 in the poll after opening the season with a 42-27 win against the Patriots.

"That's the best game of Alex Smith's career, as the veteran quarterback shuts down any thoughts of anointing rookie Patrick Mahomes as the Chiefs' starter," Newsday's Bob Glauber said. "Smith obliterated Bill Belichick's defense and made it clear Kansas City will be a major player in the AFC."

Coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Reid coached the Eagles for 14 seasons and reached the playoffs nine times.

The Dallas Cowboys also earned a first-place vote and finished with 331 points, moving up five places to No. 3 after a 19-3 win over the rival New York Giants.

The Patriots fell from No. 1 to No. 4 and will look to rebound in New Orleans on Sunday against Drew Brees and the Saints.

"The soft Saints face a hard truth — they are catching an enraged Tom Brady on the rebound," Ira Kaufman of SB Nation Radio said.

New England also received a first-place vote and trails Dallas by only two points.

The Atlanta Falcons stayed at No. 5 and will open their new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium when they host the Packers on Sunday night in a rematch of the NFC championship game.

The Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers were tied at No. 6. Both received a first-place vote and have 327 points, trailing Atlanta by one.

Seattle, which lost to the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday, dropped five spots to No. 8.

The Minnesota Vikings moved up six spots to No. 9 after opening with a win against the Saints. Minnesota faces a test this week when it goes on the road to take on the Steelers.

The Carolina Panthers gained three spots to round out the top 10.

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For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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