Wednesday, September 20, 2023

San Francisco 49ers Week 3 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 3 roundup for the San Francisco 49ers in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 1

Player: WR Brandon Aiyuk
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

The Niners picked up Aiyuk's fifth-year option in May. The only first-round pick the Niners have signed to a second contract in the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era (since 2017) is defensive end Nick Bosa, waiting until after his fourth season to do it. The Niners would like to make Aiyuk the second. The question is whether they can afford to keep both Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel long term. Much of that will depend on whether Aiyuk can build off last year's breakthrough season, in which he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the first time and led the team in receptions (78) while finishing second in touchdowns (eight). If he can, the cost to retain him will only increase. -- Nick Wagoner -- Rank: 1

Beating the Rams was a gut-check win in a lot of ways, even if a few big missed connections could have made it a larger margin of victory. Some will hone in on the Brock Purdy overthrows, but he came through with the touchdown drive before halftime and delivered some big throws on the fourth-quarter TD march. I'm not worried about him. But the health of the secondary is getting a little scary. The Niners were paper-thin by game's end, but credit goes to Isaiah Oliver, who was thrust into a major role because of injuries, and Deommodore Lenoir, who left the game for a bit before making a pick late. Both came up huge. In lieu of style points, San Francisco won with resolve, keeping Kyle Shanahan's bunch at No. 1.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 1

It wasn't easy against the Rams, but they found a way. The defense has to tighten up a bit going forward, but they are the best team right now.

USA Today -- Rank: 1

Can't do better than winning your first two games, especially when those victories come on the road. San Francisco is home the next three weekends and very likely to be 4-0 heading into a Week 5 Sunday nighter against Dallas.

The Athletic -- Rank: 4

We (sincerely) hate to even bring this up given the 49ers' recent history with devastating injuries, but all of San Francisco needs to be saying its prayers for Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel. The duo had 32 of the Niners' 45 touches Sunday. For the season, it's 66 of 98.

FOX -- Rank: 1

Sunday featured what felt like a bit of a ho-hum performance for the Niners, and it ended with them putting up 30 more points, forcing two takeaways and beating the Rams in stress-free fashion. Brock Purdy wasn't perfect, but he's averaging a 102.2 passer rating in his first games back from injury, and it's hard to see a weakness with this roster.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 1

Deebo Samuel had 63 yards receiving, 38 rushing and looked like the all-around threat that made him an All-Pro in 2021. As we know with the 49ers, the only player that is guaranteed touches and production each week will be Christian McCaffrey. The rest will rotate. In Week 1 it was Brandon Aiyuk. Week 2 was Samuel. George Kittle's big game is coming soon. It's not a bad thing.

PFT -- Rank: 2

In 19 days, they get a chance to settle things on the field against the Cowboys.

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