NFL Week 16 Power Rankings: No one’s beating the 49ers right now; Eagles and Cowboys fall out of the top 5

As we head into the final three weeks of the NFL’s regular season, is there any team right now that you would take over the San Francisco 49ers to win it all?

Think? Anybody?

Didn’t think so. 

I picked the 49ers to win it all before the season, but I feel much stronger about it now than I did back then. They are rolling and clearly the best team in the NFL as they head into a big game this week with the Baltimore Ravens, the best team in the AFC.

The 49ers are the top team in my power rankings, with the Ravens coming in at No. 2. But it’s almost as if we’ve become immune to the 49ers story, in large part because of the way they have rolled over teams.

Ho-hum, the 49ers blew out another team again, which they did in a 45-29 beating of the Cardinals on Sunday.

A few words of advice: Don’t miss out on this show. The 49ers are a joy to watch. Head coach Kyle Shanahan, an offensive wizard if ever there was one, has his team buzzing on offense with quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey clearly in the MVP race. We expect that type of play from McCaffrey, who is the league’s best back, but to see it from Purdy is a remarkable story.

Going into the season, I was one of those guys who needed to see it over the course of a season to determine how I truly felt about Purdy as a player. Here’s my conclusion: He’s much more than just a game manager — way more

Sure, the 49ers offense is loaded. But he makes it go. His ability to get the ball to the right player with accuracy is what makes the passing game tick. Dare I say it: He has some Joe Montana to his game.

player headshot

The player who was picked last in the 2022 NFL Draft — and a player who was the third-string QB on the 49ers early last year — is now on the verge of possibly winning an MVP. Wow. He couldn’t be at a better place for his style and game. The system is quarterback friendly, but it’s also running back friendly, as history can attest. So it works for both Purdy and McCaffrey.

The 49ers are also loaded with stars. How many teams can claim more? None. That’s why it works. It helps to have Shanahan running the whole thing.

When Shanahan was a young coach, others who worked with him told me he was entitled and came across as arrogant. But he changed. He grew up. He matured, and now he’s one of the best coaches in the league, not unlike his father, Mike, who won two Super Bowls.

Kyle Shanahan has yet to win a Super Bowl, so that’s the true test for him. But this year’s team has that look and feel to it. I thought they’d win it in August, and now believe it even more so. That three-game losing streak they had a while back, one that came with several key players out, seems like a long time ago.

Do you see anybody beating them? I don’t either. Not right now.

Biggest Movers








They already clinched the division, and it looks like the top seed in the conference will also be theirs. The Ravens game this week will be a physical war. 11-3-0



They are the top team in the AFC as Lamar Jackson pushes to potentially win his second MVP. The next two weeks are big with the 49ers and Dolphins on the schedule. 1 11-3-0



They showed against the Jets they could win a game without Tyreek Hill. Now comes a brutal stretch with the Cowboys, Ravens and Bills on the schedule. 2 10-4-0



They snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Patriots, which was badly needed. Now they have a soft schedule to close out the season. The AFC’s top seed could still be theirs. 2 9-5-0



They snapped out of their two-game funk by beating up on the Broncos. They can clinch the division by beating Minnesota this week. 2 10-4-0



They’ve lost three straight games and do not have the look of a Super Bowl team. They have three games to get it going again — or else. 2 10-4-0



They are rolling right now, doing it with a running game and defense, which is a change of sorts. They still need work to get into the playoffs, where no other AFC team wants to see them. 3 8-6-0



They were physically mauled by the Bills in the loss Sunday. That is not a good look heading to the playoffs or as they ready to play Miami. 6 10-4-0



Joe Flacco wasn’t sharp all day against the Bears, but he made the throws when needed to win it. This team has a real shot now to be a playoff team. 1 9-5-0



Three straight losses has them in a position where they might not make the playoffs. Oh, how this season has gone bad for this group. 1 8-6-0



Winning a road game with a backup quarterback speaks volumes about this team and where they are. DeMeco Ryans is clearly in the Coach of the Year conversation. 8-6-0



They are 8-6 and Jake Browning has gone 3-1 in four starts. That’s unreal when you think about where they were when Joe Burrow went down for the year. 1 8-6-0



Shane Steichen has done an amazing job getting this team into playoff contention with a backup quarterback. The schedule is favorable the rest of the way, too. 1 8-6-0



What happened to the defense against the Bengals? Now they face a big game against the Lions, a team we know can score. 1 7-7-0



They saved their season by beating the Eagles with a late-game drive by Drew Lock. Now the schedule softens and they have a real playoff chance. 4 7-7-0



They currently hold the final spot in the NFC playoffs. That’s impressive coaching by Sean McVay. 1 7-7-0



Baker Mayfield came up big on the road in the victory over the Packers. If they win out, they win the NFC South. 1 7-7-0



Their playoff chances took a big hit in the blowout loss to the Lions. What happened to the defense in that one? 6 7-7-0



They are tied for first place in the NFC South after beating the Giants. The defense came up big in that game and, they will need it again this week against the Rams. 3 7-7-0



Two straight losses has them basically out of the playoff chase. The defense was awful against the Bucs, which might lead to changes. 4 6-8-0



Three straight losses has them in big trouble in terms of the playoff race. They aren’t good right now on either side of the ball. 7-7-0



Losing to the Panthers on the road is a damning hit to their playoff chances. It’s obvious that changes are coming. 2 6-8-0



It’s too bad they don’t play the Chargers every week. They looked unbeatable in that game. Amazingly, they are still alive in the playoff race. 1 6-8-0



Losing to the Browns, blowing a lead, pretty much ends their playoff hopes. Watch out for this team next season, though. 1 5-9-0



It’s on to 2024, but the question remains whether it will be Kyler Murray under center. I think it will be. 3-11-0



The good feeling from the Dolphins victory evaporated with the loss to the Texans. They blew a big lead in doing so, and now Will Levis is hurt. 5-9-0



The three-game winning streak ended with an ugly showing against the Saints. They are basically done. 5-9-0



They are officially eliminated from the playoffs, which means we won’t see Aaron Rodgers. This season went bad Week 1 and they never recovered. 5-9-0



They had no choice but to fire head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco. It’s hard to believe this was a playoff team last year. 5-9-0



They are 3-11. Can you believe it? The Patriots? Is Bill Belichick gone? He could be. 3-11-0



It’s only a few more weeks and a coaching change is coming. Even the offense didn’t look good against the Rams, which led to Sam Howell sitting down. 4-10-0



They beat the Falcons, but the best news was that Bryce Young did it with a game-winning drive. That’s progress. 2-12-0

The San Francisco 49ers are considered the best team in the NFL heading into the final three weeks of the regular season. They have dominated their opponents and are led by head coach Kyle Shanahan, who has transformed the team into a powerhouse. Quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey have been standout players, with Purdy even being compared to Joe Montana. The 49ers have a loaded offense and a strong defense, making them a formidable team. They are currently ranked first in the power rankings, with the Baltimore Ravens coming in at second. The 49ers are expected to make a deep playoff run and potentially win the Super Bowl.

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