Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

‘Watch out for this team next year’: Where the 49ers fall in final 2020 season power rankings

Jan 6, 2021 at 2:26 PM--

The 2020 season didn't go as planned for the San Francisco 49ers. After coming off a disappointing Super Bowl loss, the team had lofty hopes and looked to make amends for the heartbreaking defeat by once again competing for a championship.

An insurmountable number of injuries quickly transformed the roster, and the 49ers were unable to recover, finishing with a 6-10 record and missing the playoffs.

The 49ers are expected to bounce back next season, assuming they can safely navigate an uncertain offseason. The team had nearly 40 players playing on the final year of their contracts and have to deal with what is sure to be a greatly reduced salary cap.

"We just finished a 6-10 season, and we understand there's a lot of reasons that led to that, but that's not to our standard, and so we have to improve," general manager John Lynch said this week.

Some "experts" took one last look back at the 2020 season, ranking each of the 32 NFL teams. Of course, the 49ers are ranked based on the team's status as it finished the season, and not necessarily the potential it has headed into 2021.

Below is a sample of some of the more prominent power rankings around the web and where San Francisco finished within each. Neither ESPN nor Bleacher Report, which I typically include here, released power rankings after the regular season's conclusion.

Sports Illustrated
Current Ranking: 15
Previous rank: 14
"This ranking shows a lot of respect for a squad that ultimately finished 6–10. Needless to say the 49ers will be higher next preseason when their long list of injured players can return." — The MMQB staff
Current Ranking: 21
Previous rank: 21
"Finishing under .500 a year after nearly winning the Super Bowl would represent great disappointment for any team, but the Niners deserve credit for keeping their dignity intact while grinding through a snakebitten season. San Francisco has a big decision to make at quarterback, where the high-priced and injury-prone Jimmy Garoppolo currently sits atop the depth chart, but Kyle Shanahan will also likely be tasked with finding a new leader for his defense. Robert Saleh is coming off an excellent season in which San Francisco finished fifth in total defense despite an avalanche of injuries and COVID-19 madness. A hot name on the coaching carousel, Saleh will almost certainly get one of the open big chairs." — Dan Hanzus

USA Today
Current Ranking: 24
Previous rank: 24
"Kinda crazy to think Kyle Shanahan's four-year record with Niners is 29-35, though it's certainly not indicative of his coaching abilities." — Nate Davis

CBS Sports
Current Ranking: 25
Previous rank: 25
"Watch out for this team next year. The injuries crippled them this season, but there is still a lot of talent. They could lose defensive coordinator Robert Saleh when he likely becomes a head coach." — Pete Prisco

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