Thursday, December 24, 2020

San Francisco 49ers Week 16 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the San Francisco 49ers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 23.8 (23rd)
  • Best ranking: 20th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 27th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 16 roundup for the 49ers in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 20

Wish: Better health. Injuries decimated the 49ers this season. Now they'll need to decide whether to stick with Jimmy Garoppolo or look for an upgrade. San Francisco needs a better backup plan, too. Nick Mullens has been a turnover machine, and the lasting image from the 49ers' season will be him taking his helmet off after an interception, walking to the sideline and looking so, so sad. San Francisco has a number of key roster decisions to make and will be one of the offseason's most interesting teams.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 26

The Super Bowl hangover is now complete. They are done. Has any team ever dealt with more than this team did this year?

USA Today -- Rank: 27

Plenty of factors fueled their highly disappointing NFC title defense, but perhaps Niners' 1-3 record against NFC East best sums up what amounts to dreaded Super Bowl hangover.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

Most underrated star: FS Jimmie Ward

Other than middle linebacker Fred Warner, no player on the Niners' defense has more snap-to-snap responsibility than Ward, who has finally settled in as a free safety after years of bouncing among positions in the secondary. Although Ward would like to add more takeaways to his ledger, he's a good tackler who excels in coverage and allows coordinator Robert Saleh to take more chances up front, knowing that Ward will be in the right position on the back end. -- Nick Wagoner -- Rank: 26

"This year was the most disappointing one." That was Kyle Shanahan's take on the 2020 season following a 41-33 loss to the Cowboys that officially eliminated the 49ers from playoff contention. Shanahan has had just one winning season in four years in San Francisco, but this season came on the heels of a near Super Bowl win last February. The Niners were supposed to finish the job in 2020 -- at least until a wave of injuries and COVID-19-related madness ruined everything. The good news? The Niners should have a top-15 pick in the 2021 draft to add to a roster that is excellent when at full health. It's been an ugly year by the Bay, but a return to championship contention in 2021 would not be a surprise.

+ Previous update: San Francisco 49ers Week 15 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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