Broncos Gain on 49ers for Top Spot in Power Rankings

Broncos Gain on 49ers for Top Spot in Power Rankings

(AP) 49ers, Broncos remain atop AP Pro32 power rankings
AP Sports Writer
The San Francisco 49ers gave up ground to the Denver Broncos while holding down the top spot in the AP Pro32 power rankings after the first week of the regular season.

The 49ers earned seven first-place votes and 347 points in Tuesday’s poll after rallying to beat the Green Bay Packers over the weekend. The Broncos earned the other four first-place votes and 344 points after Peyton Manning’s virtuoso seven-touchdown performance sent them past the Baltimore Ravens in a rematch of last year’s dramatic AFC playoff game.

San Francisco had nine first place votes in last week’s balloting of media that regularly cover the league, while the Broncos had two and Seattle had one. One voter was absent this week.

Colin Kaepernick dazzled in the 49ers’ season opener, but it was the play of wide receiver Anquan Boldin that stood out to voters. He had 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown for coach Jim Harbaugh, and surely made Ravens coach John Harbaugh rue the trade that sent him away.

Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards and three touchdowns.

Voters didn’t forget about Manning’s record-tying seven TD tosses in the regular-season opener against Baltimore on Thursday night, though, even after a full slate of games on Sunday and a doubleheader on Monday night.

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News pointed out that “Peyton Manning is on a pace to pass for 112 touchdowns,” while Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM and CBS Sports decided to overlook the Broncos’ suspect running game after Week 1.

Seattle dropped from a tie for second into third place after struggling to a 12-7 win over Carolina. Houston jumped to fourth after erasing a 21-point deficit to beat San Diego 31-28 on Monday night, while New England remained fifth after squeaking past Buffalo.

The Saints were among the biggest movers, jumping from 12th into a tie for sixth with the Packers. The Falcons, Colts and Bears round out the top 10.

Another big mover was Philadelphia, which piled up points in a hurry in coach Chip Kelly’s debut Monday night. The Eagles took a 26-point lead in the third quarter against Washington on Monday night, and then held on for a 33-27 win over the defending NFC East champs. The Eagles climbed from 26th into a tie with Detroit for 12th, one spot behind Chicago.

The Raiders climbed from the cellar to No. 30 after a 21-17 loss to Indianapolis. They jumped over the Browns and Jaguars, who were last on every ballot after a 28-2 loss to Kansas City.

The next AP Pro32 power rankings will be released Sept. 17.