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NFL power rankings, Week 13: 49ers creeping back up

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The 49ers climb a little bit in Week 13 NFL power rankings following their decisive win over Washington. We break down how the performance can propel them forward.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers got a key win Monday night, and they find themselves back in the final NFC wildcard roster spot. They remain tied with the Arizona Cardinals, and both teams have a game up on Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit for that final wildcard spot. Both teams have some tough games the rest of the way, but the 49ers would seem to have a slightly easier schedule. The 49ers and Cardinals match up in Week 17, so we'll see just how that matchup shapes up to potentially affect this playoff chase.

The weekly NFL power rankings are back, and San Francisco made a modest move. Washington has talent, but they have struggled to put much of anything together. As the 49ers were opening up their lead last night, I saw some more national tweets talking about how the 49ers performance wasn't quite worth getting in a fuss over, given the opponent.

I think it's reasonable to temper expectations because of the opponent, but given the struggles this team has shown in executing at times, we can still take away some sense of optimism from the offense. They showed an ability to adjust, and we saw some plays they had not been call all season. We saw those early slants to Mario Manningham, which really proved key in setting up Anquan Boldin deep later in the first quarter. I think the best thing to take from the game was the improved game management from a play-calling perspective, and from the perspective of the basic mechanics of getting plays to Kap quickly.

The 49ers are back home this week facing the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are not the same team the 49ers steamrolled on Thursday Night Football back in late September. They lack consistency, but they're coming off a home win over Chicago and a road win over Indianapolis, both of which were won in decisive fashion. The Rams are playing some solid football, so this week is no gimme for the 49ers.

SB Nation NFL

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Denver Broncos
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Carolina Panthers
5. New England Patriots
6. Cincinnati Bengals
7. Kansas City Chiefs
8. Arizona Cardinals
9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Detroit Lions

CBS Sports (Prisco)

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. New Orleans Saints
3. New England Patriots
4. Denver Broncos
5. Carolina Panthers
6. Kansas City Chiefs
7. Cincinnati Bengals
8. San Francisco 49ers
9. Arizona Cardinals
10. Indianapolis Colts

MLive.com

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Denver Broncos
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Carolina Panthers
5. New England Patriots
6. Kansas City Chiefs
7. San Francisco 49ers
8. Cincinnati Bengals
9. Arizona Cardinals
10. Indianapolis Colts

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