NFL Power Rankings 2012: Niners prep for playoffs; Raiders prep for draft

Thearon W. Henderson

The San Francisco 49ers will take advantage of a bye week, while the Oakland Raiders say "goodbye" to another lost season.

The San Francisco 49ers don't have to play this week, as they are practicing through a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, which begin on Saturday. The NFC is wide-open, and so is the spot as top team in the league heading into the playoffs. As of now, SB Nation and ESPN have differing opinions as to where the Niners stand.

SB Nation has the 49ers ranked No. 6 in its final power rankings of the regular season. It pointed out that the absence of Justin Smith due to injury is going to have a big impact on their defense once it has to take the field.

ESPN, on the other hand, has the Niners at No. 3 in its final power rankings. ESPN views the bye week as an opportunity for the Niners to get healthy and to find the proper direction needed to meet their lofty expectations.

While the 49ers are preparing for the playoffs, the Oakland Raiders are getting ready for the NFL draft. They finished 4-12, and both SB Nation and ESPN rank them No. 30 in their power rankings. Happy offseason.

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