For the vast majority of the 2019 regular season, the San Francisco 49ers have been in the top five for the NFL power rankings. Lately they have been teetering up and down given their 4-3 record over the last seven games. Their surprising loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home, a game they were favored by double digits, dropped the 49ers a couple of spots.
Entering week 16, the 49ers were slotted at No. 4. But after their down to the wire win over the Los Angeles Rams, the latest NFL power rankings in week 17 has the 49ers ascend back into the top three. Specifically ranked at No. 3 with the Balitmore Ravens maintaining the top spot and the New Orleans Saints just above the 49ers at No. 2.
Their win over the Rams was by no means a graceful one. For the majority of the game, it was the Rams who appeared poised to emerge victorious. The 49ers' offense was stagnate for the bulk of the second half, while in the first half the defense was struggling to adapt. Still, the final two drives of the game showed exactly what the 49ers were made of when they overcame two third-and-16 plays on the final drive.
Given the high stakes of the game, for the 49ers to finish strong in the end is a very impressive win. With one more week to go in the regular season, the 49ers likely will not take back their top spot in the power rankings from the Ravens. Ever since their loss to Baltimore a few weeks ago, the 49ers were booted from No. 1. However, being in the top three is still an accomplished position to be in. If the 49ers defeat the Seattle Seahawks this week, then at the very least they will move up one more spot.
There would be a case to be made for the 49ers to kick the Ravens off of No. 1. Week 17 is for all the marbles in the NFC west as well as a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the entire playoffs. With the injuries the 49ers have faced in recent weeks, it would be a major win if they could get that first-round bye. However, the 49ers will need to show out in Seattle at CenturyLink Field in the toughest environment in the NFL.
The last time the 49ers defeated the Seahawks on their home-field was back in 2011. So winning against an elite team on the road in the hardest places to play would be indicative of the mentality and preparation of the 49ers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff have their work cut out for them this week. Accounting for the noise is difficult to replicate as well as being able to live up to the pressure once again with the entire nation watching.