Packers Start Season Atop Rankings
RB Cedric Benson (Frank Victores/USP)
RB Cedric Benson (Frank Victores/USP)
For Packer Report
Posted Sep 4, 2012

With the addition of Cedric Benson, Green Bay collected five of 12 first-place votes to rank No. 1 in the AP's Pro32 rankings

The Green Bay Packers are ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press Pro32 rankings. They collected five of 12 first-place votes, finishing ahead of No. 2 New England (two first-place votes) and the No. 3 New York Giants (five).

Here are comments on the Packers by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):

Chris Berman (ESPN, 3) - After all, Packers had best record last year.

Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 3) - Losing LB Desmond Bishop is problem for defense. Adding Cedric Benson gives explosive offense more balance.

Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 1) - Best team in regular season last year and have chip on shoulder after playoff loss.

Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 1) - Seen enough improvement from D in preseason to keep Packers at top.

Bob Glauber (Newsday, 4) - No worries about Aaron Rodgers, who can afford a few missteps after last year's nearly perfect MVP season. Real worry is defense, which finished last in yards allowed in `11.

Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 1) - Have Packers improved NFL's worst defense? Another Lombardi Trophy hangs in balance.

Clark Judge (, 2) - Learned hard way last year that defense still matters.

Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 2) - Perhaps shifting Charles Woodson to safety can energize a secondary that was burned repeatedly last fall.

Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/, 1) - 15-1 last year, averaged 40 points a game at home, got better on defense in offseason. Ced Benson will stabilize run game.

John Lynch (Fox Sports, 2) - Will be in conversation all year long. How quick we forget 15-1 last year. Defense bounces back, Aaron Rodgers at helm ... enough said!

Alex Marvez (, 2) - Provided his 2011 fumbling problems are behind him, preseason signing of running back Cedric Benson should give an already prolific offense a nice boost.

Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 1) - Addition of Cedric Benson could give Packers dimension they lacked.

Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

Related Stories
Division Preview: AFC West
 -by  Sep 4, 2012
Division Preview: AFC South
 -by  Sep 4, 2012
Division Preview: AFC North
 -by  Sep 4, 2012

Subscribe today and get a full year of Packer Report Magazine with an annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Green Bay
[View My HotList]