Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


49ers stock plummets in Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

Chris Wilson
Oct 6, 2021 at 3:25 AM--


The analysts who were clamoring for backup quarterback Trey Lance no longer believe the 49ers are a playoff-caliber team.


When San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was exposed in Week 3, the young coordinator's incompetence was far from a hot topic of conversation amongst members of the national sports media -- if it was even discussed at all.

After months of fawning over rookie quarterback Trey Lance, the media finally got its wish in Week 4, as the latest future of the 49ers' franchise played the entire second half of the Niners' loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The rookie certainly looked the part during the team's defeat, simply proving what was obvious all along: He's not ready; but who expected him to be?

Although analysts received exactly what they asked for, they immediately voiced their extreme displeasure, as they tossed the Lance-led 49ers well outside of playoff contention. In the following Week 5 NFL Power Rankings, San Francisco's rankings ranged from 12 to 16, approximately 5.5 spots lower than the previous week.

In additional breaking news, Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer argued Shanahan needs to run the ball more.

I know better than to delay you with any further commentary; let's get straight to the good stuff.

Below is an overview of where San Francisco currently ranks within some of the more prominent NFL power rankings from around the web, as well as commentary and/or justification in support of each decision. Today, we'll list the rankings by the distance the 49ers fell over the weekend.

49ers Power Rankings: NFL Week 5


CBS Sports
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 16 [ -9 ]
"There is a chance Trey Lance starts for Jimmy Garoppolo in this one. Whoever starts, this is a big game in terms of the division race." — Pete Prisco

Sports Illustrated
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 13 [ -8 ]
"Kyle Shanahan set up a good situation for Trey Lance to have time to learn and develop behind Jimmy Garoppolo without pressure to play. But, part of the reason the 49ers drafted Lance was because Garoppolo has been injury-prone through his career. On Sunday, Garoppolo's calf injury resulted in Lance being pushed into action before he was ready. That learning curve will have to be accelerated now depending on how long Garoppolo will be out." — Jenny Vrentas

Yahoo Sports
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 13 [ -7 ]
"Quarterback questions are loud in San Francisco as Jimmy Garoppolo is injured again. Is it officially Trey Lance time? This team was expected to turn around from a troubled 2020. However, troubles are in the forecast once again." — Barry Werner

NFL.com
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 13 [ -7 ]
"Jimmy Garoppolo is dealing with yet another injury, this time a calf contusion, and Kyle Shanahan will once again spend the week fielding questions about the quarterback position. Trey Lance delivered an uneven performance in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, but his athleticism and playmaking ability might be San Francisco's best shot, with a showdown against Kyler Murray and the high-flying Cardinals up next. The Niners' offense seems stuck in a rut with Garoppolo behind center -- that remained the case in Jimmy G's two quarters against a Seattle defense that was hemorrhaging yardage and points before Sunday. If Shanahan decides now is the time to pull the trigger and move to the kid, the decision will be justified." — Dalton Miller

Pro Football Talk
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 15 [ -6 ]
"At some point, all these injuries aren't just the result of bad luck." — Mike Florio

Pro Football Network
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 13 [ -6 ]
"San Francisco's defense did darned near everything they could to slow down the Seahawks in Week 4. But the 49ers' offense just couldn't get it done against a Seattle defense that has struggled for the better part of two seasons pro football. Nick Bosa and Co. kept the Seahawks' splash plays to a minimum and made things uncomfortable for Mr. Unlimited. In the end, San Francisco lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second half and rookie Trey Lance couldn't do enough to keep up with Seahawks' 21-point second half. Garoppolo's calf injury will be something to watch going forward. Wally Pipp passed away in 1965, but even his ears perked up when he saw what transpired on Sunday afternoon." — Mark Maske

Sporting News
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 12 [ -5 ]
"The 49ers' defensive injuries have been dififcult to overcome, especially with a transition on offense from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance in store. Kyle Shanahan needs to get the team into running more and playing better complementary football, stat." — Vinnie Iyer

ESPN
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 15 [ -4 ]
"Biggest surprise: WR Deebo Samuel
Why it's a surprise: Samuel showed up to training camp leaner, healthier and a more well-rounded receiver. He looked poised for a big season, but even the biggest Samuel believers probably didn't see this coming. Four games in, Samuel is first in the NFL in receiving yards (490) and yards after catch (266) and fifth in yards per reception (17.5). His 490 receiving yards through four games is the second-most by a Niner behind only Jerry Rice's 522 in 1995." — Nick Wagoner

Bleacher Report
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 16 [ -2 ]
"The Trey Lance era is here—whether the San Francisco 49ers like it or not. With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined by a calf injury, the third overall pick in the 2021 draft saw his most extensive playing action of the season Sunday at Levi's Stadium. The results were mixed but encouraging: nine completions in 18 attempts for 157 yards and two scores. Lance said after the game that he has much to improve on.
"Missed some big ones, missed some easy ones, missed some checkdowns, just definitely a few plays that I want back," he said. "I'm going to go back and watch it tonight and I think I'll learn a lot from that."
Head coach Kyle Shanahan agreed with the assessment. "He got thrown in not expecting to get in," Shanahan said. "I thought he ran the ball well, hit some passes, obviously missed some passes, was in a tough situation there when we were down two scores. He did a good job of moving the chains a couple times with his legs. But it looked like a typical first game." With Garoppolo set to miss a few weeks, Lance will have a chance to hone his craft." — NFL Staff

USA Today
49ers Week 5 Ranking: 13 [ - ]
"Due to injury, Trey Lance took over for Jimmy Garoppolo. The Seahawks still flexed their power and recovered from a strong start from the Niners. It remains to be seen how things go at quarterback in San Francisco going forward." — Nick Wojton
  • Chris Wilson
  • Written by:
    You may have seen Chris Wilson's work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis, and film breakdowns at Minute Media, FanSided, Niner Noise, Insidethe49, LockedonSports, ClutchPoints, and others. Follow Chris on Twitter @cgawilson.
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