Saturday, October 21, 2023

San Francisco 49ers Week 7 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 7 roundup for the San Francisco 49ers in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 1

Lesson learned: The 49ers' defense is going to be just fine.

The Niners' biggest offseason change came at defensive coordinator: DeMeco Ryans left to become the Houston Texans' head coach, and Steve Wilks took over in San Francisco. There have been a few hiccups in the first six weeks, but Wilks' group has largely held its standing as one of the best units in the league. San Francisco is third in points allowed (87), fourth in defensive efficiency (74.5) and third in defensive expected points added (43.31). There's room for improvement, particularly when it comes to sacks and run defense, but the defense is still a strength for a 5-1 team. -- Nick Wagoner -- Rank: 1

Sunday's loss to the Browns was easily Brock Purdy's worst game of the season, and his struggles shouldn't be glossed over, but I bet a lot of people ready to cut him down don't realize just how good Cleveland's defense is. Anyone who watched that game realized how tough a spot he was put in. Brandon Aiyuk dropped a would-be TD, the offense committed six penalties (12 total by San Francisco) and there were big injuries to Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams. Purdy also drove the 49ers to a spot where the game would have been won if not for Jake Moody's errant field-goal attempt. The penalties are a big issue (the Niners lead the league with 45), but the most surprising development was seeing the Browns clearly winning the physical battle up front. San Francisco stays on top for now, given how the rest of the week played out in the NFL.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 4

The offense didn't do much of anything against the Browns, which is a worry. Brock Purdy sure didn't look like Joe Montana in that one.

USA Today -- Rank: 1

Way too premature to suggest they got exposed against the league's No. 1 defense — especially amid circumstances when you'd expect QB Brock Purdy to have his worst professional game given the staggered absences Sunday of injured Pro Bowlers Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams around him. Depending on the injuries, there could be an extended setback here, but almost certainly not one that signals the Niners are in major jeopardy.

The Athletic -- Rank: 2

Serious question: How much would Jim Schwartz be worth for a two-week consulting fee for any team that met San Francisco in the Super Bowl? The Browns' defensive coordinator kind of owns Kyle Shanahan, who fell to 0-3 as 49ers head coach against teams whose defenses are coordinated by Schwartz. In that span, San Francisco has averaged nine fewer points per game and 0.9 fewer points per drive against Schwartz than against everyone else.

On Sunday, the 49ers scored 16 points lower than their average coming into the game. Dating to Shanahan's time as an offensive coordinator, he is 1-9 when he goes against Schwartz. Of course, Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey both missed chunks of this game because of injury.

FOX -- Rank: 2

Sure, we saw an aberrant Brock Purdy performance in the first poor game of his NFL career. But the vaunted San Francisco defense looked mortal against the P.J. Walker-led Browns and Cleveland's defense was more prepared for Kyle Shanahan's scheme than Dallas (or anyone else) has been. The 49ers are still a juggernaut, but if their star players miss time, like anyone else, they're vulnerable.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 1

Jake Moody missing a field goal that would have won the game led everyone to point out that Moody was the 99th pick of the NFL Draft, the highest-drafted kicker since the infamous Roberto Aguayo. It's unfair; Moody has been pretty good. He has hit 10 of 12 field-goal attempts. He hadn't missed a kick shorter than 50 yards all season. But he was drafted to hit big kicks like Sunday, not some 36-yarder in the fourth quarter of a blowout against the Giants.

PFT -- Rank: 4

Constant physicality eventually takes a toll.

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