Based on the overall NFL standings, the 49ers are not the best team in the NFL this season. Entering their Thursday night game against the Tennessee Titans (9-5) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, San Francisco (8-6) currently is behind 11 other teams.
But former 49ers left tackle and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Joe Staley isn't worried about the standings. He's focused on the eye test, and in his opinion, San Francisco passes it.
Ahead of the 49ers-Titans game, Staley made a bold statement on "49ers Pregame Live."
"When you look at the bold predictions you've made, Takeo has made some guarantees," Staley told Laura Britt and Donte Whitner. "I want to get in on the action right now. I've got a Joe Staley Statement. The 49ers are the best team in the NFL right now.
"I think if you put this team at a neutral site against anybody in the league, the way they are playing, they can match up with anyone. And it's because of the adversity they've faced this year. They are playing their best football right now. The star power, they are all playing beyond their potential and I think that's going to continue today. Screw the short week. I'm on the hype train and it's rolling. Woo-woo."
The 49ers have won two games in a row coming into the contest against the Titans, and have won five of their last six games.
The 49ers have the talent to be considered one of the best teams in the NFL right now, and they are getting healthy at the right time.
After playing the Titans, the 49ers face the Houston Texans and the Los Angeles Rams to close out the regular season. It's not inconceivable that San Francisco runs the table and heads into the NFC playoffs riding a five-game winning streak.
But first, they must handle business on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville.