2012 NFL Power Rankings: 49ers, Raiders Headed In Opposite Directions

The 2012 NFL power rankings have arrived ahead of Week 2 of the season, and the two Bay Area teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The 49ers are moving up to the top, while the Raiders took a tumble towards the bottom of rankings from around the web.

SB Nation's Joel Thorman gave the 49ers plenty of credit, moving them five spots up to No. 3 in his NFL Power Rankings after their opening-week victory over the Green Bay Packers:

3. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 8, 1-0): Wow. I'll be the first to say San Francisco impressed the hell out of me with a Week 1 in victory at Lambeau, arguably the toughest Week 1 matchup and they get it done. Can Alex Smith be that efficient every week? Will the defense keep it up? This team belongs in the top 3.

ESPN, Yahoo, and Fox Sports all had the Niners at No. 2. CBS Sports ranks San Francisco the lowest at No. 4, but eats some crow after putting them at No. 11 to start the year:

Winning on the road at Green Bay is really impressive. Alex Smith shut some mouths -- including mine.

The Raiders were not nearly as successful in their first game, falling to the San Diego Chargers. That loss put them closer to the back-end of the rankings.

Thorman dropped the Raiders from No. 26 to 28, and made an astute observation from the box score:

28. Oakland Raiders (LW: 26, 0-1): If Carson Palmer is throwing the ball 46 times, it's a good sign the Raiders are losing.

Yahoo and CBS think most highly of the Raiders, putting them at No. 23. ESPN puts them at 25, while their lowest ranking comes from Fox Sports at 29.

For more on the the Niners and Raiders, stick with SB Nation Bay Area.

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