Wednesday, December 22, 2021

San Francisco 49ers Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

Throughout the 2021 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: 11.6 (12th)
  • Best ranking: 11 (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 14 (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 16 roundup for the 49ers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 11

How hot is Kyle Shanahan's seat: 2. Cool seat

Realistically, there's almost no chance Shanahan is going anywhere after this season. But speaking in absolutes on anything NFL-related seems unwise, hence the tiniest bit of wiggle room for something unforeseen. Shanahan just signed a six-year contract extension in 2020 that will take him through 2025. The Niners are on a playoff trajectory, which would be a solid bounce back after a disappointing follow-up to their 2019 Super Bowl run. But ultimately, the Shanahan era is going to be defined by what happens in the coming years with him coaching and Trey Lance playing quarterback. That duo will be afforded an opportunity to see where they can go together. -- Nick Wagoner -- Rank: 11

The Niners took care of business against the Falcons on Sunday and will enter a Thursday night showdown with the slumping Titans having won five of six games. There are encouraging signs all across the roster, but don't sleep on the second-half surge of Jimmy Garoppolo. The veteran quarterback -- a figure of suspicion in recent years -- has posted the fourth-best QBR in the NFL since Week 8. He's cut down on mistakes, found a rhythm with George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk and has stayed healthy -- all key factors in San Francisco finding its footing. Trey Lance remains the future, but Garoppolo is taking advantage of his moment in time, however fleeting it may be.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 14

It's time to give Jimmy Garoppolo credit for playing good football. He makes this team dangerous if they do get into the playoffs.

USA Today -- Rank: 11

Over the past five games "WR" Deebo Samuel has 12 catches for 206 yards and a TD ... and 33 carries for 247 yards and six TDs. His seven rushing scores this year are three more than any other wideout has had in a season in the Super Bowl era. And just for good measure, Samuel's 17.8 yards per catch also top the league charts. All-Pro?

The Athletic -- Rank: 11

Our gift to you: A big-time play in a big-time moment from Jimmy Garoppolo. Would a few clutch third-down conversions or a game-winning touchdown to secure a playoff spot or a deep postseason run ultimately change the way the 49ers (and, specifically Kyle Shanahan) feel about Garoppolo's long-term future with the team? Probably not. The trade for Trey Lance was a franchise-shifting move, and the unproven rookie is still the team's future, but a strong finish by Garoppolo would do a lot for his trade market in 2022.

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