Friday, September 15, 2023

San Francisco 49ers Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 2 roundup for the San Francisco 49ers in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 1

Best debut performance: DT Javon Hargrave
Week 1 stats: 3 tackles, 3 pressures, sack

Apologies to rookie kicker Jake Moody, who had a flawless debut, but Hargrave's presence on the interior sparked a dominant performance by the defensive line. The Niners had the best defense in the league last season without getting much pressure from the interior, but Hargrave and a healthy Arik Armstead look intent on changing that in a significant way. -- Nick Wagoner -- Rank: 1

The 49ers dominated the first half against the Steelers and delivered the knockout blow to Pittsburgh two plays into the third quarter. Christian McCaffrey's 65-yard run started with perfect execution up front. McCaffrey spun past the Steelers' Levi Wallace and was aided by blocks from WRs Brandon Aiyuk and Ray-Ray McCloud III. It was just a devastating play from a 49ers offense that was in full command on the road in Week 1. I suspected San Francisco's defense would pick up where it left off, and it did just that. But the offensive explosion was the Week 1 headline, answering any questions anyone might have about the ability or health of QB Brock Purdy. Truly brilliant stuff.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 1

They were the most-dominant team on opening day. The defense looked like it had 13 guys on the field against the Steelers. The offense showed up too. Brock Purdy is just fine.

USA Today -- Rank: 1

Hard to begin more impressively than flying cross-country and beating another (supposed) contender by 23 points in their own building. The Niners dominated in every phase at Pittsburgh on Sunday, and second-year QB Brock Purdy built upon the historic start of his career. "Mr. Irrelevant" from the 2022 draft, he's the first passer in league annals with a QB rating of at least 95.0 in his first six regular-season starts and the first to win his first six non-playoff starts while notching at least a pair of TD throws in each. Purdy's lone loss remains January's NFC title game defeat at Philadelphia, when his UCL snapped early in the game. The wing — and this team at large — looked ready to go, S.F. positioned to be better than ever in the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch era.

The Athletic -- Rank: 2

Fashion from the '90s is coming back, and so are the NFC Championship Games from the '90s because we can skip to Cowboys-49ers for a Super Bowl bid right now. Christian McCaffrey had 169 yards of offense and Brock Purdy became the first quarterback in NFL history to win each of his first six regular-season starts and throw two or more touchdown passes in each of those games. At one point in the first half Sunday, the Niners led the Steelers 223-1 in total yardage.

FOX -- Rank: 2

All that Brock Purdy speculation was fun while it lasted. If guiding the 49ers to a 30-7 win in Pittsburgh was his debut after returning from his elbow injury, it feels like a safe bet he'll be just fine. This is a Pittsburgh team with playoff aspirations, and San Francisco imposed its will on both sides of the ball until it was time to run out the clock. It was an emphatic statement that the concerns about Purdy's outlook were a bit exaggerated. And if that's the case, the Niners look like a team capable of making another run to the NFC Championship Game.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 1

It's simple: If Brock Purdy plays all season like he did on Sunday, the 49ers might be the best team in football. They looked fantastic in that blowout win over the Steelers. I was skeptical about Purdy, but he looked great, the 49ers were awesome and they deserve the top spot for now.

PFT -- Rank: 1

They've been knocking on the door for five years. They might be getting ready to kick it in.

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