Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


5 teams ranked by NFL.com as more talented than the 49ers

Jul 27, 2020 at 10:18 AM--


NFL Media analyst Maurice Jones-Drew ranked a whopping five NFL teams as more talented than the San Francisco 49ers, last season's Super Bowl runner-up. That may seem like a lot, and some teams listed above head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad will probably surprise fans.

The five teams above San Francisco, ordered by rank, are the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Kansas City Chiefs. You read that right. The defending Super Bowl champions rank fifth on this list.

As for the 49ers, here is what Jones-Drew had to say about the Bay Area team:

"The 49ers ranked in the top five in both total offense and defense last season. Offensively, they are led by All-Pro TE George Kittle. But while they have other first-round talent on the unit, it's head coach Kyle Shanahan's scheme that makes the offense truly special. The defense, on the other hand, is built from a combination of talent and coordinator Robert Saleh's energy, scheme and leadership. The defensive line is among the best in the league as the 49ers keep replenishing areas of need up front; they drafted Javon Kinlaw with one of their first-round picks after trading away DeForest Buckner. Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw showed major improvement in 2019. Veteran Richard Sherman is as motivated as ever, and it's rubbing off on the rest of the secondary."

Jones-Drew feels the Saints are by far the most talented squad in the NFL, placing them in the top spot.

"A Super Bowl contender for the bazillionth year, the Saints are undoubtedly the most talented NFL team right now," he writes. "And it's not really close."

The former NFL running back feels the Falcons underachieved last season despite a surplus of talent. Atlanta did knock off San Francisco in Week 15. He feels the additions of quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski make the Buccaneers a top contender.

"This is the scariest passing unit in the league right now," wrote Jones-Drew, "and to be frank, I don't know how defenses can stop an offense that has Brady, Gronk, O.J. Howard, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin."

So there you have it. The 49ers come in at No. 6 in the mind of this analyst. Shanahan, however, has a lot more confidence in his team.

"I mean, you look at the numbers across our whole team, with how we played offense, defense, ran the ball, and threw the ball, turnovers, everything with our whole team, it was as good of a football team as I've ever been a part of," Shanahan said in June. "I know we were good enough to win that Super Bowl, and we didn't. And that's something we've got to live with. And that's why the state of the franchise, right now, is we've got to get right back to that moment."





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