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NFL Power Rankings: Where 49ers stand after beating Vikings

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The 49ers ran all up and down the Vikings on Sunday, and Jimmy Garoppolo did just enough to get San Francisco its third straight win to move to 6-5 and in the No. 6 spot in the NFC. 

This 49ers team is flawed, the secondary has issues, and if Deebo Samuel’s groin injury is serious, playoff dreams will become harder to actualize. But for now, Kyle Shanahan’s team, once dead and buried, enters December just a half-game behind the Los Angeles Rams and with enough talent to make noise in the postseason if they can complete their resurrection. 

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots’ beatdown brigade continued Sunday as Bill Belichick, and Mac Jones bludgeoned the quickly fading Tennessee Titans. Then, at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers and his immunized toe took it to the Los Angeles Rams, who now have lost three straight. 

Elsewhere in the free-for-all known as the AFC, the Cincinnati Bengals put the Pittsburgh Steelers out to pasture, the Los Angeles Chargers went full Charger in Denver, and the Las Vegas Raiders somehow, someway still have a playoff pulse. 

Here’s where each team stands after Sunday’s Week 12 action:

32. Detroit Lions (0-10-1): After losing to Andy Dalton and Matt Nagy, the Lions’ March to 0-16-1 has very few obstacles remaining. 

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9): Are Urban and Shelley Meyer perusing Zillow in Norman, Okla. yet?

 

30. Houston Texans (2-9): The Texans won by losing to the Jets on Sunday as Houston pulls ahead in the race for the No. 2 overall pick. 

29. New York Jets (3-8): The Jets and Giants won Sunday, making it the greatest day for New York football since the butt fumble. 

28. New York Giants (4-6): General manager Dave Gettleman reportedly is unlikely to return in 2022, which doesn’t bode well for every man Joe Judge’s future at the helm of the G-Men. 

27. Chicago Bears (4-7): Beating the Lions isn’t a measuring stick for success, but it should at least temporarily calm things down at Halas Hall. 

26. Seattle Seahawks (3-8): Is Monday night the last stand for the Russell Wilson-Pete Carroll Seahawks? Or did we already miss the era dying without a whimper? 

25: Carolina Panthers (5-7): Cam Newton has lost his last 10 starts for the Panthers dating back to 2018. Good vibes and nostalgia don’t win games in the NFL. 

24. Atlanta Falcons (5-6): The Falcons are a bad football team, and yet, they ended Sunday in a tie for the final playoff spot in the NFC. Don’t expect that to last. 

23. Washington Football Team (5-6): In a quarterback-driven league, Ron Rivera and the Football Team have to find their long-term answer under center, and it’s not Taylor Heinicke.

22: Miami Dolphins (5-7): Miami’s defense is cooking, Jaylen Waddle is breaking franchise records, and the Dolphins have reeled off four in a row. Better late than never. 

21. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1): The Steelers are a flaming jalopy rolling backward down a hill, and 5-11-1 isn’t out of the question. 

20. New Orleans Saints (5-6): The Saints’ offense isn’t working with Drew Brees in the broadcast booth. Taysom Hill makes a lot of money to provide little value. Sean Payton has to go searching for answers in the offseason. 

19. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7): As good as Justin Jefferson has been for the Vikings, that’s how bad Jalen Reagor has been for the Eagles. Passing on Jefferson was not Howie Roseman’s finest draft moment. 

18. Minnesota Vikings (5-6): Facing a fourth-and-goal Sunday, Kirk Cousins lined up under guard to take the snap. The stats are nice, but he’s not the coolest customer. 

17. Cleveland Browns (6-6): Lamar Jackson did everything he could to give the Browns a win they badly needed, but Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s offense managed 10 points on Sunday night and now their backs are against the wall. 

16. Denver Broncos (6-5): Two weeks after getting run over by the Eagles, the Jekyll and Hyde Broncos shut down Justin Herbert to keep their playoff dreams alive. I have no idea what to make of this team. 

16. Las Vegas Raiders (6-5): If a planet-killing meteor struck Earth, the only thing that would survive would be the debate about whether or not Derek Carr is a franchise QB. 

 

14. Los Angeles Chargers (6-5): The Chargers’ front seven turns every 3-yard gain into a 7-yard gain. It’ll take more than Justin Herbert to get the old Chargers out of this team’s DNA. 

13. Indianapolis Colts (6-6): The Colts forgot they had Jonathan Taylor on Sunday, as 26 consecutive pass plays doomed Indy in the loss to the Bucs. 

12. San Francisco 49ers (6-5): Just like that, the 49ers trail the Rams by just one game in the loss column, have won four of their last five, and scored 30 or more points in each of those wins. Feels great, baby.

RELATED: Grading 49ers' win over Vikings

11. Tennessee Titans (8-4): This isn’t the Titans team that ripped through the best teams in the AFC. With no Derrick Henry, no A.J. Brown, and no Julio Jones, Ryan Tannehill is on his own with a bunch of practice squad staples and training camp hopefuls. 

10. Buffalo Bills (7-4): The Bills feasted on the Saints on Thanksgiving but last star cornerback Tre’Davious White in the process. We’ll find out if the Bills have righted the ship next Monday against the Patriots. 

9. Los Angeles Rams (7-4): OBJ’s dad is probably already firing up Final Cut Pro to make another independent film of a QB throwing uncatchable balls to his son. 

8. Dallas Cowboys (7-4): The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games, and Jerry Jones is complaining about the officials. Things are starting to wobble in Big D, but a Thursday night date with the skidding Saints should help them get back on track. 

7. Baltimore Ravens (8-3): The Ravens are incredibly flawed, but as long as they have Lamar Jackson they have a chance.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4): In a “changing of the guard” moment, the Bengals humiliated the Steelers on Sunday and now can truly set their sights on an AFC North title and a playoff berth. It’s a new day in The Jungle.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4): The Chiefs exit the bye to face the Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers in the span of 11 days. They can put the AFC West away in quick order if they are indeed back. 

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3): Another Sunday, another game-winning drive for Tom Brady. Expect anything different? 

3. New England Patriots (8-4): The Titans rushed for 270 yards but still left Foxboro with their tail between their legs after getting blown out. Yeah, I’m thinking Bill Belichick is back. 

2. Green Bay Packers (9-3): At 9-3 heading into their bye, the Packers should only get better from here on out with Za’Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander, and David Bakhtiari all working their way back. Just keep that toe immunized from the pain, Aaron.

 

1. Arizona Cardinals (9-2): Lincoln Riley going to USC was a quick and easy way for Kliff Kingsbury’s agent to secure a raise for his client. You don’t actually think the guy with a 9-2 record and a generational QB is going to leave the NFL to go to Norman, do you?

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