49ers

NFL Power Rankings: Where 49ers sit after Week 6 bye

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Shanahan

The 49ers spent Week 6 of the NFL season on their bye, trying to find an offensive identity and an answer to the quarterback question that will determine the course of their year

On the field, we saw the Baltimore Ravens undress Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers in the marquee game of the early slate, making a loud statement that surely made waves across the AFC. 

In what might be his last game as a Packer at Soldier Field, Aaron Rodgers made sure to stick Bears fans and twist the knife one final time. 

Meanwhile in New England, Mac Jones showed a lot of resilience late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys. After throwing a pick-six to Trevon Diggs that gave Dallas the lead, Jones turned around and fired a 75-yard touchdown to Kendrick Bourne (with the help of some questionable safety to play) to give the Patriots the lead. But the Patriots defense couldn’t stop the Cowboys’ high-powered attack as Dak Prescott got Dallas into field goal range, Greg Zuerlein sent the game into overtime and then Prescott hit CeeDee Lamb for a game-winning 35-yard touchdown in overtime. Another moral victory in New England. 

Here’s where each team stands after Sunday’s Week 6 action:

32. Houston Texans (1-5): The Texans are following the 2020 Jaguars’ blueprint to get the No. 1 overall pick. Get your only win out of the way in Week 1 and then tie a brick around your ankles and sink to the bottom. 

 

31. Detroit Lions (0-6): The Lions got a free look at Jared Goff in a write-off year. After six games, I think it’s fair to write him off as well. 

30. New York Jets (1-5): Did the Jets beat the bye week? 

29. New York Giants (1-5): The Giants are now 9-23 with Daniel Jones as the starter and once again are irrelevant in an NFL season. It’s decision time on the QB and coach for Big Blue. 

28. Miami Dolphins (1-5): Miami allowed the Jaguars to get their first win in nearly 400 days and things could get ugly for the Dolphins with their season now in tatters. 

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5): Is there an Urban’s Pint House in London? If so, beers on Urbz after the Jags got off the schneid across the pond. 

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-3): Atlanta doesn’t do anything particularly well, but a win in Week 7 against the hapless Dolphins will get the Falcons back to .500 and still alive in the playoff race. The world is full of tiny miracles.

25. Washington Football Team (2-4): Facing the NFL’s worst defense, the Football Team put up 13 points on a Chiefs team that has been shredded in each of the first five weeks. On the bright side, Washington’s defense did keep Patrick Mahomes and Co. under 500 yards (499). Moral victories in D.C.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4): The Eagles are on track to have three picks in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft. That’ll help inject some talent into a roster that is lacking difference-makers on both sides of the ball.

23. Seattle Seahawks (2-4): The Seahawks better go find Russell Wilson a robotic finger or their season is O-V-E-R.

22. Indianapolis Colts (2-4): Indy walloped a rudderless Texans team on Sunday. Am I supposed to be impressed?

21. New England Patriots (2-4): The Patriots might be 2-4, but they have gone toe to toe with both the Bucs and Cowboys and almost came out on top. New England is closer than it looks.  

20. San Francisco 49ers (2-3): The Jimmy Garoppolo-Trey Lance debate sucks up all the oxygen surrounding the 49ers, but the bigger issue is that San Francisco lacks a true offensive identity regardless of who is under center. That’s on Kyle Shanahan. 

19. Carolina Panthers (3-3): Since 2010, there have been five teams to start the season 3-0 and lose their next three games. Only the 2017 Falcons went on to make the playoffs. Carolina is headed in the wrong direction. 

18. Denver Broncos (3-3): Here’s your 2021 NFL Enron Award winner. Frauds. 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3): Big Ben struggling to beat Geno Smith and a horrendous Seahawks defense might be the eye-opener the Steelers needed to see that their franchise icon is cooked.

 

16. Minnesota Vikings (3-3): Four of the Vikings’ six games have concluded on the final play. The bye week comes at a good time for Mike Zimmer’s heart. 

15. Chicago Bears (3-3): Justin Fields has been inconsistent, but the flashes of brilliance are why it was so important for him to play this season. He’ll get better and hopefully will be rid of Matt Nagy come January.

14. New Orleans Saints (3-2): The Saints have shown their ceiling and floor through five games this season. Which teams shows up when New Orleans exits the bye?

13. Tennessee Titans (3-2): The Titans smell like pretenders but they can make a loud statement Monday night if they can dominate the Bills like they did last season.

12. Las Vegas Raiders (4-2): In years past, the Raiders would have shown up in Denver on Sunday and got rolled up like an old carpet. Instead, the Silver and Black put it on the rival Broncos and are firmly in the hunt for the AFC West title. Rich Bisaccia, take a bow. 

11. Cleveland Browns (3-3): On Sunday, the Browns played without Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry and starting tackles, plus Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. both are banged up and Kareem Hunt left the loss to the Cardinals with an injury. Cleveland needs a MASH unit. 

10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2): Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon dismantled the Lions and look ready for their closeup when they face the red-hot rival Ravens in Week 7.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3): Not. Dead. Yet. 

8. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2): The Bolts were exposed in a bad matchup against the Ravens. Still, LA is in a great spot with Justin Herbert and Brandon Staley. Being 4-2 after going through the early-season gauntlet is exactly where the Chargers wanted to be.

7. Dallas Cowboys (5-1): So, Mike McCarthy, what is it you would say you do here? 

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1): The Bucs are going to have to start pulling people off the street to play cornerback after Richard Sherman’s injury. The secondary is in shambles, but Tom Brady covers up a lot of warts. 

5. Green Bay Packers (5-1): Aaron Rodgers, Bears owner. Confirmed. 

4. Los Angeles Rams (5-1): The Rams scored 38 points in a pummeling of the Giants and Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp said it wasn’t up to their standards. These Rams have bigger goals than pantsing Joe Judge and Daniel Jones on an October Sunday.

3. Baltimore Ravens (5-1): Statement. Statement. Statement. The Ravens caught the darling Chargers coming off a draining win over the Browns and pulverized them. Baltimore’s defense frustrated Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson broke Dan Marino’s record for most wins by a QB before his 25th birthday. MVP front runner? I think so.

 

2. Buffalo Bills (4-1): The Bills Mafia has descended upon Nashville, but can Buffalo avoid a letdown against the Titans?

1. Arizona Cardinals (6-0): The Cardinals’ offense is already a nightmare to defend and they just added Zach Ertz. Borderline unfair.

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