2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

Updated: September 4, 2012, 5:11 PM ET
ESPN.com
Week:

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!

Note: "Last Week" refers to the preseason edition of the Power Rankings.

• How they voted | Bloggers | Rank 'em | Pro Football Focus: Underrated, overrated Insider | Mike & Mike Listen | Team Power Rankings charts since 2002

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