It's really a guess right now. I do think we will be a better team but that doesn't mean we will win more games because our schedule is tougher and a lot of the NFC teams have gotten better. Harbaugh would probably rather we started at 32 than at the top (not that he would care about power rankings). We won't be underdogs anymore. Teams will give us their best shot.
Its really a beautiful thing to see us rise to respectability again, we were bad for so long after being one of the most prominent franchises before that. Now we are back and the rest of the league wont know wat hit em.
Last August 9th we were 26th and the week before they had us at 25 on espn. Scrolling ahead they had us at 26 right before week 1. Sando saying as many as 6 new starters on defense. Guess it was a good thing.
1 Giants9-7 The Giants have lost significant pieces from their Super Bowl team and won only nine regular-season games in 2011, but they are the defending champs. They will be the team to beat. (Fox)
2 Patriots13-3 Adding deep-threat receiver Brandon Lloyd could give the Patriots the NFL's most versatile passing attack. (Walker)
3 Packers15-1 Yet another quiet offseason for Ted Thompson as the Pack await help in the draft. (Clayton) 4 49ers13-3 All 11 defensive starters return from last season, with Aldon Smith expected to crack the lineup after 14-sack rookie season. (Sando)
5 Ravens12-4 QB Joe Flacco's strong finish in the playoffs gives the Ravens hope they can get over the championship hump. (Walker)
6 Texans10-6 Have lost a great deal: Mario Williams, Eric Winston, DeMeco Ryans and Mike Brisiel. (Kuharsky)
7 Lions10-6 The Lions have spent their free-agency period re-signing key free agents. (Clayton)
8 Broncos8-8 If healthy, Peyton Manning should lift all of the Broncos' boats. We've already got them as tops in the division and they'll still be adding pieces around him. (Kuharsky)
9 Steelers12-4 The salary cap crashed hard on the Steelers. But you can never count out this consistent franchise. (Walker)
10 Bears8-8 The Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall combo will be hard for defenses to stop. (Clayton)
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