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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“This team is ready for liftoff”: Where the 49ers stand in Week 12 power rankings

Nov 22, 2022 at 11:57 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have now won three consecutive games. The latest was a 38-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night in Mexico City.

Aside from the dominant performances on both sides of the football, the best news may have been that head coach Kyle Shanahan had no in-game injuries to report for the third straight game. The 6-4 team also took over first place in the NFC West and hopes to continue their upward trend on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

The national media appears to be buyers once again regarding the 49ers. After Monday night's showing, the masses again consider them legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

Below is a sample of some of the more prominent power rankings around the web and where San Francisco currently stands within each. The highest rankings are listed first.

Current Ranking: 5
Previous rank: 7
"When this offense is healthy and humming -- as it was on Monday Night Football in Mexico City -- it can feel unfair. Christian McCaffrey. Deebo Samuel. George Kittle. Brandon Aiyuk. Elijah Mitchell. It's an embarrassment of riches for Jimmy Garoppolo, who got the ball into the hands of his playmakers with expert proficiency in a 38-10 wipeout of the overmatched Cardinals. Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes without a turnover and regularly connected with wide-open receivers running free against an Arizona defense that packed it in by the fourth quarter. Add in a physical and imposing defense, and this team is ready for liftoff." — Dan Hanzus

The Ringer
Current Ranking: 5
Previous rank: 7
"San Francisco moves to first in the NFC West with their win over the Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Somehow, Jimmy Garoppolo is the fourth-ranked quarterback in EPA per dropback (0.15) behind just Tagovailoa, Mahomes, and Allen. Combine that with the top-ranked defense in points allowed and the fourth-ranked defense in yards allowed per game, and you have a legitimate Super Bowl contender." — Austin Gayle

Sports Illustrated
Current Ranking: 5
Previous rank: 5
"This is what they are capable of in the Christian McCaffrey era—complete and utter dominance. No defense that can completely encase them. It's a really terrifying prospect for anyone who assumed the NFC was locked up a few weeks ago." — Conor Orr

The Athletic
Current Ranking: 6
Previous rank: 6
"Everything seems peachy for the Niners after their 38-10 blowout of the Cardinals in Mexico City. Jimmy Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes and no interceptions in a game for the second time in his career (also against the Cardinals, back in 2019) and ranks fourth in the league in EPA (expected points added) per dropback, according to TruMedia. The suddenly spry George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk each had two touchdowns while Elijah Mitchell, Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel all made things happen in the backfield. The defense looks scary and things seem to be shaping up well for Kyle Shanahan and company. While the Eagles and Vikings hit something of a dip, the Cowboys and Niners have entered the conversation as serious Super Bowl contenders." — Bo Wulf

USA Today
Current Ranking: 6
Previous rank: 8
"QB Jimmy Garoppolo is one heckuva game manager for a squad back in first place. His four TD passes Monday night tied a personal best while setting the standard for games played in Mexico. TE George Kittle (2 TDs) set the standard for postgame interviews in Mexico." — Nate Davis

Yahoo! Sports
Current Ranking: 6
Previous rank: 8
"Everything came together for the 49ers on Monday night. The defense was really good. The offense scored five touchdowns, and didn't even need one from Christian McCaffrey. Yes, it was against a bad Cardinals team without Kyler Murray. But that's the kind of performance that should give San Francisco hope that it has a Super Bowl contender." — Frank Schwab

Pro Football Talk
Current Ranking: 7
Previous rank: 10
"Right now, they could beat any team in the NFC." — Mike Florio

Bleacher Report
Current Ranking: 9
Previous rank: 8
"There has been a fair amount of speculation of late regarding what the San Francisco 49ers might look like if they put it all together. Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals, we finally saw it—and it was impressive. Granted, it came against a team without its starting quarterback. But Kyler Murray's absence didn't have anything to do with how the Niners moved the ball at will. On the ground, San Francisco had 159 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per attempt. Through the air, Jimmy Garoppolo had four touchdowns without an interception plus a passer rating of 131.9. Defensively, Nick Bosa and Co. shut the Cardinals down. Arizona averaged 2.8 yards per carry, and while the Cardinals converted half of their third-down attempts, San Francisco continually turned Arizona away when it was in position to score." — NFL Staff

Current Ranking: 8
Previous rank: 8
"The 49ers invested heavily in this group in hopes of improving what was the 26th ranked unit in the league in 2021, as measured by expected points added (EPA). The return work of Ray-Ray McCloud III, in particular, has been noticeable as of late and looks to be a strong addition. But the kicking game remains a question mark, as Robbie Gould has an 81.3% field goal rate and has had two kicks blocked, while punter Mitch Wishnowsky has had an attempt deflected, as well." — Nick Wagoner

Sporting News
Current Ranking: 8
Previous rank: 9
"The 49ers have become a complete team, capable of beating teams with any kind of offense with their explosive playmakers. They also have a strong defense still on every level despite some key injuries. They made a big first-place statement Monday night in Mexico City by exploding to rout the Cardinals." — Vinnie Iyer

CBS Sports
Current Ranking: 9
Previous rank: 9
"Nobody will want to play this team come playoff time. They are getting it right at the right time. Jimmy Garoppolo is playing well." — Pete Prisco

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