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2012 Nfl Power Rankings: Week 1


Wild Bill
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http://espn.go.com/n...ear/2012/week/1

ESPN.com

The wait is over. Week 1 is finally here, which means optimism abounds and everyone's on equal footing.

Well, not exactly.

Every team might have the same unblemished record, but our voters (ESPN.com's John Clayton, ESPN.com's Ashley Fox, NFC East blogger Dan Graziano, AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and NFC West blogger Mike Sando) already have a pretty good idea about who's for real and who's going nowhere in 2012.

So who deserves top billing? The Giants are the reigning champs, but they no longer reign supreme here. The high-powered Packers, who were No. 1 all of last season, enter Week 1 once again staring down at the competition. The Giants start at No. 3, sandwiched between AFC favorite New England (No. 2) and NFC stalwart San Francisco (No. 4).

Will Week 1 have a significant impact on the rankings? Maybe so. A victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field could easily propel the 49ers to No. 1. If Peyton Manning has a victorious Denver debut against No. 8 Pittsburgh, he and the Broncos (No. 13) could find themselves solidly in the top 10.

Let the games begin!

2012 Power Rankings: Week 1 RANK TEAM / RECORD TRENDING COMMENTS 1

Packers

15-1

2

Last Week: 3 The defense should be better, and a disappointing home playoff loss should only strengthen the resolve of Aaron Rodgers & Co. to get back to the Super Bowl. (Graziano) 2

Patriots

13-3

--

Last Week: 2 Tom Brady over the past two seasons: 75 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and 285.4 passing yards per game. (Hensley) 3

Giants

9-7

2

Last Week: 1 Are they the team that went 9-7 in the regular season? Or are they the team that tore through the playoffs and won the Super Bowl? Their QB and pass rush say the latter. (Graziano) 4

49ers

13-3

1

Last Week: 5 The 49ers hit the road early before playing five of six at home beginning in October. (Sando) 5

Texans

10-6

1

Last Week: 6 The Texans have it all -- good running game, good quarterback, good defense. (Clayton) 6

Ravens

12-4

2

Last Week: 4 They return 18 starters (not including Terrell Suggs) from team that came up short in AFC Championship Game. (Hensley) 7

Eagles

8-8

--

Last Week: 7 One of the deepest rosters in the league, but they had that last year too and flopped. So much rides on the health of ever-brittle QB Michael Vick. (Graziano) 8

Steelers

12-4

--

Last Week: 8 Good sign for 2012? Ben Roethlisberger has guided the Steelers to the Super Bowl in 2008 and 2010. (Hensley) 9

Bears

8-8

2

Last Week: 11 Offensive line questions remain, but Chicago's hope is that big WR Brandon Marshall is the cure for what ails QB Jay Cutler. (Graziano) 10

Falcons

10-6

2

Last Week: 12 The Falcons are counting on new coordinators Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan to jump-start their playoff chances. (Sando) 11

Saints

13-3

2

Last Week: 13 Mass suspensions make the Saints arguably the most enigmatic team in the NFL entering Week 1. (Sando) 12

Lions

10-6

3

Last Week: 9 What can the combination of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, so spectacular in 2011, do for an encore? And do they have enough on D this time to cash it in? (Graziano) 13

Broncos

8-8

3

Last Week: 10 He's back. How far back Peyton Manning is after missing the 2011 season we will begin to find out when the Broncos host the Steelers on Sunday night. (Fox) 14

Cowboys

8-8

--

Last Week: 14 They have elite talent at key positions, but can Tony Romo and all of his weapons stay healthy? There's not a lot of depth behind the stars in Dallas. (Graziano) 15

Chargers

8-8

--

Last Week: 15 Three of the Chargers' six games heading into their Week 7 bye are against division opponents. (Fox) 16

Bengals

9-7

--

Last Week: 16 Looking for consecutive winning seasons for first time since 1981-82. (Hensley) 17

Chiefs

7-9

--

Last Week: 17 The Chiefs have loaded up on both sides of the ball, but it's all going to come down to how well QB Matt Cassel can play. (Fox) 18

Titans

9-7

--

Last Week: 18 With Kenny Britt suspended for the opener, the Titans are lacking big-play threats at WR. (Clayton) 19

Bills

6-10

4

Last Week: 23 An improved defense is key to ending the NFL's longest playoff drought (12 seasons). (Hensley) 20

Seahawks

7-9

2

Last Week: 22 Seattle doesn't seem to think the usual rookie rules apply to starting quarterback Russell Wilson. (Sando) 21

Jets

8-8

1

Last Week: 20 The offense didn't inspire confidence with one touchdown in a winless preseason. (Hensley) 22

Panthers

6-10

1

Last Week: 21 The Panthers must avoid the sweeping defensive injuries that dragged them down last season. (Sando) 23

Cardinals

8-8

4

Last Week: 19 The Cardinals are 5-0 at home with John Skelton as their starting quarterback. (Sando) 24

Redskins

5-11

1

Last Week: 25 Rookie QB Robert Griffin III gets all the hype, but if the Redskins are going to surprise, a surprisingly strong defensive front seven could be the reason. (Graziano) 25

Buccaneers

4-12

1

Last Week: 24 Josh Freeman is facing a pivotal year after the Bucs spent big on Vincent Jackson and the offense. (Sando) 26

Raiders

8-8

--

Last Week: 26 So much is new in Oakland. New coach. New general manager. New results? (Fox) 27

Dolphins

6-10

--

Last Week: 27 Start of the Ryan Tannehill era will be rough with no playmakers at wide receiver. (Hensley) 28

Rams

2-14

1

Last Week: 29 The Rams already have more Jeff Fisher draft picks than Steve Spagnuolo draft picks. (Sando) 29

Jaguars

5-11

1

Last Week: 28 Maurice Jones-Drew could not run over the team's new owner for a contract. (Clayton) 30

Vikings

3-13

1

Last Week: 31 Adrian Peterson is on his way back, and QB Christian Ponder shows promise. But this looks like a team in rebuilding mode. (Graziano) 31

Browns

4-12

1

Last Week: 30 Carrying 15 rookies on the roster will lead to lots of growing pains. (Hensley) 32

Colts

2-14

--

Last Week: 32 So far Andrew Luck has lived up to all the hype. Now he needs to carry it over to regular season. (Clayton)

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I think 10 sounds about right. I can't honestly put us ahead of any of those 9 teams, especially when you take into account the national audience has seen us drop two stinkers in the playoffs the past two years... that's gotta be fresh in everyone's minds when they look at our team. And that's why you hear about it... most people outside of the NFC South only know as us the team that loses to the Saints and loses in the playoffs, sadly.

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Eagles overrated as usual.

I hate how people are overrating the Eagles as well. I am still wondering why people are expecting Vick to finally become a top QB from the pocket, McCoy is the best offensive player on the Eagles. Nnamdi is not as good as we thought outside of Al Davis's bump and run man scheme. Cole(11 sacks), Babin(18 sacks), and Jenkins(5.5 sacks as a DT) are beasts in that wide-9 scheme though.

Edited by DawnOfThemBirds
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I hate how people are overrating the Eagles as well. I am still wondering why people are expecting Vick to finally become a top QB from the pocket, McCoy is the best offensive player on the Eagles. Nnamdi is not as good as we thought outside of Al Davis's bump and run man scheme. Cole(11 sacks), Babin(18 sacks), and Jenkins(5.5 sacks as a DT) are beasts in that wide-9 scheme though.

Aren't they going to be a dynasty. Vick himself said that in the offseason about Eagles starting a dynasty.

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Guest Negatorris

Aren't they going to be a dynasty. Vick himself said that in the offseason about Eagles starting a dynasty.

Can't be a dynasty when the starting QB is being carted off every other game.

I hate how people are overrating the Eagles as well. I am still wondering why people are expecting Vick to finally become a top QB from the pocket, McCoy is the best offensive player on the Eagles. Nnamdi is not as good as we thought outside of Al Davis's bump and run man scheme. Cole(11 sacks), Babin(18 sacks), and Jenkins(5.5 sacks as a DT) are beasts in that wide-9 scheme though.

Dude they did the same thing last season. Don't sweat it.

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PLAYOFFSPLAYOFFSPLAYOFFSPLAYOFFSPLAYOFFSPLAYOFFSPLAYOFFS

I'm so sick of hearing about our playoff struggles. It's mentioned in every single article about the Falcons. WE GET IT. Talk about something else!

Sad but gawd awful true...win a p/o game and change the subject.

Sick of our fans praising 4 winning season and brushing off 0-3 p/o record.

MR/JJ have been sexy FF picks...sycophants should be happy with that.

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Sad but gawd awful true...win a p/o game and change the subject.

Sick of our fans praising 4 winning season and brushing off 0-3 p/o record.

MR/JJ have been sexy FF picks...sycophants should be happy with that.

Winning a playoff game wouldn't change anything. It would go from. " Hey the Falcon's havn't won a playoff game" to " Hey the Falcon's havn't won an NFC Championship ", then it'd be " Hey the Falcons havn't won a Superbowl ".

Just like they used to say " Hey the Falcon's havn't had back to back winning seasons "

Then when we do win a superbowl we'll hear " Hey the Falcon's only have one Superbowl "

The "Expectations" bar will forever be raised no matter how well we do.

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