Here’s a round-up of where the 49ers stand in the NFL’s power rankings. Some have them as low as No. 11, while others have San Francisco as high as No. 7.
11. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Previous ranking: 4
Team QBR: 58.5
QBR rank: 14th
Jimmy Garoppolo has been OK through three games, which is clear from his standing right in the middle of the pack. The Niners have to be encouraged by the fact that he has only one interception but frustrated by some of the inconsistency and the team’s penchant for slow starts over the past couple of games. Garoppolo still struggles to push the ball down the field; he has attempted just four passes traveling 20-plus yards in the air, completing one and throwing his lone pick on another. That inability combined with a lack of dynamic running ability could lead to the drumbeat for rookie Trey Lance growing louder if a few losses pile up. — Nick Wagoner
Previous rank: No. 7
They left too much damn time on the clock. Kyle Juszczyk’s touchdown catch capped a 75-yard drive that put the 49ers ahead late in the fourth quarter, but the Niners failed to bleed the maximum amount of time off the clock before giving the ball back to Aaron Rodgers. The final 37 seconds were just enough for the Packers to move into Niners territory and boot the game-ending field goal in a 30-28 loss for San Francisco. This had to be especially painful for Kyle Shanahan, who made Rodgers trade inquiries during the MVP’s offseason of squabbling with Green Bay. He didn’t get his man, and now he had to watch helplessly as Rodgers stole away a win that could have huge ramifications in the NFC.
If the San Francisco 49ers didn’t botch the clock management at the end of the game Sunday night, and didn’t allow Aaron Rodgers to get his team into position for a game-winning field goal, it would be a 1-2-3 top for the NFC West in these rankings. As it is, the 49ers remain in the top 10 with a 2-1 record looking up at their two division foes.
7 down five spots
That was a tough loss to the Packers, but they showed a lot in rallying back to take a late lead. They lost because they messed up the end of the game in terms of clock management. 52-1-0
7: San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Last week: Loss vs. Green Bay, 30–28
Next week: vs. Seattle
Ugly start to the season so far from San Francisco. But that’s not entirely unexpected, either. The 49ers endured a million injuries last season. Some of those players are gone; others, nursing their way back to full health. I thought Jimmy Garoppolo played far better in that loss to Green Bay that many of his critics did; he had a touchdown pass dropped in the first half, for instance, and kept the Niners ahead throughout, while battling never-ending pressure (Next Gen stats had him being pressured on 34.1 percent of his dropbacks, or almost double his combined percentage from the first two weeks. Still, for the team I chose to win the Super Bowl to remain in the playoff race, SF must navigate pro football’s most dangerous division, where all four teams could make the playoffs—and all four can hold varying degrees of realistic title aspirations. Which makes me wonder, same as it makes so many across football wonder: will Kyle Shanahan have to turn to Trey Lance in, at least, a more expansive role in the weeks ahead?
8. San Francisco 49ers (2-1, LW: 2)
Losing is never good but the 49ers shouldn’t feel that bad about Sunday night. They just left Aaron Rodgers too much time. But the comeback to take a late lead was impressive. Jimmy Garoppolo came through when he had to. The 49ers will be fine.
“The 49ers will be fine” sums up my thoughts about Week 3. It was a tough loss but only because of how the game started. The offense started to get into a rhythm, but it took far too long to happen.
Defensively, a handful of big plays outshined what was otherwise a strong performance. But, unfortunately, those plays hold more weight. DeMeco Ryans is still learning the ropes and trying out new things on defense.
After the Packers’ first score, Ryans tried to play “drop 8” coverage against Rodgers on two plays. Those two plays, Rodgers threw for about 50 yards and two first downs. Those were the final two times we saw those coverages all game.
From there, the 49ers played more man coverage with a mix of zone here and there. For the most part, it worked until Rodgers made throws that make him a Hall of Famer.