NFL power rankings may not mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but they are sometimes interesting to discuss. The weekly lists give fans a good indication of how their favorite teams are perceived nationally — you know, if you care about such things.

The 49ers started the season in the 20s within most power rankings. Not among the worst teams in the league, but certainly not close to the top half.

That has changed.

Surprising to some within the media, San Francisco is now 2-0 for the first time since 2012 and has a chance to win its first three games of the season for the first time in over two decades (1998). The team will have to beat the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Levi's Stadium to do so, though.

While the 49ers will have to manage without starting left tackle Joe Staley (leg) for an extended time, they could be getting several players back or working on returning after the Week 4 bye. They are wide receivers Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back), and possibly running back Tevin Coleman (ankle).

The 49ers' fast and impressive start has helped the team jump in most power rankings. Below is a small sample of some of the more prominent power rankings around the web and where San Francisco stands within each.

USA Today
Current Ranking: 9
Previous rank: 17
"Looks like a young, up-and-coming club with a real opportunity to make a serious playoff bid in 2019 after winning first two games on road." — Nate Davis

CBS Sports
Current Ranking: 11
Previous rank: 18
"They are 2-0 with two road victories. You can't start a season better than that. The offense came alive against the Bengals." — Pete Prisco

Sports Illustrated
Current Ranking: 11
Previous rank: 18
"Nice climb up the rankings after a thorough beatdown of the Bengals in which Jimmy Garoppolo was efficient and the run game looked formidable." — The MMQB Staff
Current Ranking: 13
Previous rank: 19
"The 49ers are 2-0 and coming off a game in which the offense dominated in the way the Niners envisioned when they lured Kyle Shanahan from Atlanta to the Bay. [...] Shanahan has some pieces to work with here, and it should be a joy to watch." — Dan Hanzus

Pro Football Focus
Current Ranking: 16
Previous rank: 18
"Blowing out the Bengals on their own homecourt means that the San Francisco 49ers are our biggest risers of the week. No other team increased their ELO rating by a larger amount. [...] We tend to be cautious regarding their fifth-ranked defense (per PFF grades) because defense is generally less predictive, and drawing conclusions after two weeks of play could be deceiving." — Kevin Cole and Timo Riske

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