Expectations will be high for the Seahawks in 2013. If that much wasn’t already clear from the way the Seahawks players and coaches have handled themselves since the loss to the Atlanta Falcons in last year’s divisional playoff round, it will be now, after the staff at ESPN.com has compiled their first NFL Power Rankings of the 2013 season.
The Seahawks rank atop the list, one slot above the division rival San Francisco 49ers, who fell in last year’s Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens rank No. 8 on the ESPN staffers’ list.
ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando (who cast a No. 1 vote for the Seahawks) offered some analysis of the group’s rankings:
“The Seahawks have been gaining on the 49ers for the past couple years. The 49ers were already an elite team. Seattle had more room for improvement. I felt as though the Seahawks caught the 49ers late last season. Seattle did benefit from a run of late-season home games against division opponents.
“Percy Harvin, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril have the potential to become high-impact additions. There was risk in making the Harvin move. Will he run his course in Seattle, same as he did in Minnesota? It’s a fair question, but I think the results will be positive in the beginning, at least.
“The NFC West remained the highest-ranked division with a 12.3 average ranking for its teams. That was up slightly from a 12.8 average at regular season’s end.”