The San Francisco 49ers are for real.

That's the national perception, now. There is no more denying it. The 49ers proved they should be in the conversation while discussing the NFL's elite teams. Head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad, led by a ferocious defense, dominated the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the team which has won the NFC West during each of the past two seasons.

San Francisco remains one of two undefeated NFL teams (the New England Patriots are 6-0) and owns the NFC's best record (5-0). There may have been doubters before, but now the 49ers look like legitimate playoff contenders — maybe more.

While power rankings don't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, they do provide a good indication of the national perception surrounding each team.

Below is a small sample of some of the more prominent power rankings around the web and where San Francisco stands within each.

CBS Sports
Current Ranking: 2
Previous rank: 2
"That defensive front is truly special. It's the kind of dominant unit that can carry a team a long way. What happens when Jimmy Garoppolo plays better?" — Pete Prisco

NFL.com
Current Ranking: 2
Previous rank: 4
"Quite a six-day span for the Niners, who stole the Browns' souls on "Monday Night Football," then bullied their former tormenters with a convincing win over the Rams in Los Angeles on Sunday. Again, the defense keyed the victory, holding Sean McVay's once-unstoppable attack to just 157 yards of total offense." — Dan Hanzus

Sports Illustrated
Current Ranking: 2
Previous rank: 5
"The Niners made easy work of their division foes and should cruise to 6-0 against the Redskins next week. The defense–whose oldest player is 31-year-old Richard Sherman–has only surrendered 65 first downs this season." — The MMQB Staff

ESPN
Current Ranking: 3
Previous rank: 6
"The 49ers finished last in the NFL a year ago when it came to turning red zone drives into touchdowns. They've made some progress this year but still have plenty of room to improve. Getting their starting offensive tackles and fullback back from injury should help, but if nothing else, they must cut down on turnovers when they get deep in opposing territory." — Nick Wagoner

USA Today
Current Ranking: 4
Previous rank: 6
"Despite 5-0 start, Jimmy Garoppolo has been uneven. Once he's had more time to grow with unfamiliar receivers, Niners could really flourish." — Nate Davis