NEW YORK (AP) — Russell Wilson’s clutch plays in overtime helped the Seattle Seahawks fend off Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. It also put them on top of the latest AP Pro32 power rankings.
The Seahawks topped the Broncos 26-20 Sunday in a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl.
“From his hands to his feet, Russell Wilson is doing it all for the defending champs,” Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune said.
Seattle had nine first-place votes from the 12-member media panel that regularly covers the league.
“Got the Broncos’ best and still escaped in overtime,” John Czarnecki of Fox Sports said.
The unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals received the other three first-place votes.
Both the Seahawks and Bengals will have their byes this weekend and will return in prime-time games.
Seattle’s next game is on Monday night Oct. 6 in Washington, and Cincinnati will travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Oct. 5.
“Andy Dalton has thrown 84 passes this season for the Bengals without a sack,” Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News said. “Keep your quarterback standing in this league and you can win a lot of games.”
The Broncos slipped to No. 3 after their loss, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
The Bengals, Eagles and Cardinals are the league’s remaining unbeaten teams.
Herm Edwards of ESPN has been impressed with the Cardinals’ start considering backup quarterback Drew Stanton has had to play two games in place of the injured Carson Palmer.
“2-0 now with backup Drew Stanton,” Edwards said. “This defense is for real.”
San Diego, New England, Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit rounded out the top 10.
Foxsports.com’s Alex Marvez said the Lions passed an early-season test with a 19-7 victory over the rival Packers that moved them into a first-place tie in the NFC North.
“Finally besting Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a strong statement,” Marvez said.
The San Francisco 49ers dropped from No. 8 to 15 after their 23-14 loss to the Cardinals.
“What happened to the 49ers team that went to three straight NFC championship games?” asked Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback. “Now they have no discipline, no run game and can’t get pressure on the quarterback.”
The league’s only three winless teams, the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, occupied the bottom spots in the poll.
“Welcome to the Blake Bortles era,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said. “Can’t be any worse than what we’ve seen so far from a Jaguars team that has been outscored 119-44.”