SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are No. 1 in the Associated Press NFL power rankings heading into the preseason, with the Denver Broncos second and the Jacksonville Jaguars at the bottom of the list.

Led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers nearly won the Super Bowl last season and could be ready to win it all as coach Jim Harbaugh begins his third season. San Francisco received five first-place votes from the Associated Press panel of 11 media members who regularly cover the league, and totaled 344 points.

“He looks ready to take the next step,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said of Kaepernick, the third-year quarterback who stepped in for the now departed Alex Smith and went 7-3 in leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

Denver, which added standout wide receiver Wes Welker to catch Peyton Manning’s passes, had four first-place votes and 335 points.

Receiving one first-place vote each are the Seattle Seahawks and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The Seahawks are fourth and the Ravens are sixth.

The Jaguars were ranked 32nd by six of the voters.

(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)


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