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  • NFL

    Seahawks start atop AP Pro32 rankings

  • NEW YORK — The Seattle Seahawks start the preseason right where they ended last season, as the No. 1 team in the AP Pro32 NFL power rankings.
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  • NEW YORK — The Seattle Seahawks start the preseason right where they ended last season, as the No. 1 team in the AP Pro32 NFL power rankings.
    In balloting by 12 media members who regularly cover the NFL, the top three teams in the AP Pro32 were the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.
    The Super Bowl champion Seahawks grabbed 11 first-place votes on Tuesday and had 383 points.
    "The world champions are still intact and have the ability to repeat, but that's a long way off," said Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com.
    Their NFC West rival from the Bay Area earned the other first-place vote and had 360 points.
    Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News put the 49ers in the top spot.
    "The 49ers can run the ball and play defense," Gosselin said. "With Vernon Davis, a healthy Michael Crabtree and the addition of Stevie Johnson, the 49ers should be able to pass it now as well."
    The Broncos and New England Patriots, who faced each other in the AFC championship game, followed at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Both AFC powers were active in the offseason trying to get an edge on the other.
    After getting blown out in the Super Bowl, Denver added wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to help out Peyton Manning, and DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward to bolster the defense.
    "Peyton Manning isn't going away just yet and the Broncos have enough firepower on offense and some key additions on defense to get back to the big game," Kirwan said.
    The Patriots added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to help a defense that lost key starters last season to injury.
    The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints were tied for fifth.
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