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Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports


Week 17 power rankings: Where the 49ers stand after humbling loss to Ravens

Dec 26, 2023 at 11:56 AM--


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After enjoying several weeks as the top-ranked team in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers received a humbling reality check on Christmas night as the Baltimore Ravens secured a convincing 33-19 upset win at Levi's Stadium.

Quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey may find themselves fielding fewer questions about the MVP race. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has surged to the forefront of MVP discussions, becoming the new betting favorite for the annual honor following his impressive two-touchdown performance against the 49ers.

While McCaffrey had a respectable night, accumulating 131 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, Purdy chose an inopportune moment to have the worst game of his career. He threw four interceptions, earning a career-low passer rating as a starter of 42.6.

San Francisco now aims to bounce back on the road against the Washington Commanders before returning home for the regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.

What does the national media think about the Niners' roster compared to the rest of the league? Below are samples from some of the more prominent power rankings around the web and where San Francisco currently stands within each. As always, the highest rankings are listed first.

Understandably, power rankings have the Ravens in the top spot this week.

The Athletic
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"Even with Monday night's four-interception game, Brock Purdy's numbers are absurd (league-leading .37 EPA per attempt), but so were Jimmy Garoppolo's in this offense. Garoppolo led the league in EPA per attempt (.27) from 2019 to 2022, according to TruMedia. McCaffrey, meanwhile, is the most irreplaceable part of the NFL's most potent offense. He had 14 carries for 103 yards Monday against the Ravens. For the season, he leads the NFL in rushing (1,395 yards), yards from scrimmage (1,932) and touchdowns (21)." — Josh Kendall

Bleacher Report
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"In today's rapid-reaction era, we have a tendency to overreact to the here and now instead of stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. That will no doubt be the case where Monday night's butt-kicking is concerned. And make no mistake, the 49ers got their butts kicked on Christmas night. Entering the game, quarterback Brock Purdy was an MVP front-runner. Four interceptions and the worst game of his career later, that's likely done. Purdy didn't even finish the game—he was pulled with a shoulder injury after being sacked in the fourth quarter. ... They will all but certainly be the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They beat both the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys handily. This week though, the AFC's best team mollywhopped the NFC's best team." — NFL Staff

ESPN
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"Best rookie: S Ji'Ayir Brown. A season-ending injury to starting safety Talanoa Hufanga in November thrust Brown into the starting lineup and made him the only Niners rookie not named Jake Moody to step into a pivotal role. There were a couple of early hiccups, but Brown has gotten better by the week and his lack of experience is rarely evident. For the year, Brown has 35 tackles and two interceptions. A strong finish should position him well to become a full-time starter at one of the safety spots in 2024." — Nick Wagoner

NFL.com
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"Even though the 49ers saved face a bit late in the 33-19 loss to the Ravens, it's impossible to overlook how tough a night Brock Purdy and several elements of the offense had. On the first interception, Purdy forced it in the end zone – bad decision. The second one was a terrific defensive play by Brandon Stephens (and Marlon Humphrey). No. 3 was all on Purdy, even if it was a fluky play, because he saw two flags fly in front of his face before the throw. Purdy's arm was hit on the fourth one, but by that point, the Ravens had landed enough haymakers to make the debate a pretty moot one. It was just a lump of coal all around. San Francisco's offensive line got manhandled after a certain point. The tackling was atrocious for a stretch. It just was not the game I expected from this team at this point in the season. But the Niners have stumbled before and risen again, and I believe they'll be in the thick of the Super Bowl race, especially with the NFC's top seed still very much in play." — Eric Edholm

The Ringer
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"San Francisco's 33-19 loss to the Ravens wasn't just a discouraging defeat to a Super Bowl contender. It was a total pantsing. Four of the 49ers' first seven drives ended in interceptions, and Brock Purdy left the game after a sack in the fourth quarter, and he didn't return. Meanwhile, the 49ers defense allowed the Ravens to score on six consecutive drives in the second and third quarters. Just a complete beatdown of a team that has frequently looked unstoppable. And the questions surrounding this team—about the quarterback and about the offensive line, especially after Trent Williams left the game—need urgent answers." — Riley McAtee

Sports Illustrated
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"I've always been interested in Kyle Shanahan's quarterback-specific development chops. His designing of an offense for Robert Griffin III was spectacular, but, for the most part, Shanahan has preferred and succeeded with veteran type players. Brock Purdy usurped Trey Lance, and now Shanahan has little choice, in a Super Bowl season, to ride or die with a player who could absolutely be a franchise quarterback (he could hand the ball to Sam Darnold, but I don't see that happening). But, how does Shanahan handle the rigors of a young quarterback's season? Purdy threw four picks against a lights-out NFL defense. This is a second very bad game this year after mostly perfection to start his career. To say this stretch is delicate is an understatement. And, it's on the head coach to manage." — Conor Orr

Sporting News
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"The 49ers were living the dream with Brock Purdy and the offense until Trent Williams got hurt again and then Purdy got rocked too much by the Ravens. San Francisco remains the team to beat in the NFC with still only one conference loss (Vikings) as it has fallen three times to AFC North foes." — Vinnie Iyer

Touchdown Wire
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"The 49ers got humbled at home by the Ravens. Let's not overreact, though- they are still one of the league's best and they're probably going to be in the NFC Championship Game. Brock Purdy was bested by a great defense, and Baltimore took advantage of those mistakes." — Jarrett Bailey

USA Today
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"Small picture? Not so happy holidays, and QB Brock Purdy likely watched any MVP aspirations go up in smoke. Big picture? Niners should be fine – and getting embarrassed Monday might just trigger a steamroll into Super Bowl 58." — Nate Davis

Yahoo! Sports
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Rank: 1
"Every team, other than the 1972 Dolphins, had a bad day. The 49ers looked great before Monday, and Brock Purdy isn't going to throw four interceptions very often. The Ravens clearly are No. 1 going forward, but it's not time to pick apart San Francisco. The 49ers are still capable of winning a Super Bowl. But that was certainly an eye-opening result vs. Baltimore." — Frank Schwab

CBS Sports
Current Ranking: 3
Previous Rank: 1
"Brock Purdy suddenly looked like a player taken last in the draft against the Ravens. The defense got gutted as well, which is a bad look heading to the playoffs." — Pete Prisco

Pro Football Talk
Current Ranking: 3
Previous Rank: 1
"Brock Purdy isn't, wasn't, and won't be the MVP." — Mike Florio

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