The San Francisco 49ers finally got on the board with a victory in Week 10, dropping the New York Giants 31-21. Things were ugly early on, but the 49ers took control and we got a nice glimpse of what this team can look like.
The end of Week 10 brings with it media NFL power rankings, and it is no surprise that heading into their Week 11 bye, the 49ers are getting some love. The Cleveland Browns remain at the bottom of these power rankings, and the 49ers have climbed over the Giants in most. This certainly does not mean they are set to take over the world from here, but as they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
The 49ers head into their bye with some optimism after nine straight losses. They were continuing to fight, but this Giants game was their best chance at a win the rest of the way. That’s not to say the 49ers won’t win a game the rest of the season, but the way their schedule sets up, there are not many great opportunities remaining. Games at Chicago and Houston are winnable, and upsets can abound elsewhere, but getting that win over the Giants is big. An 0-16 season would not have been the end of the world, but this offers a kind of validation that would not come in an 0-16 season.
And with that, here is a look at Week 11 NFL power rankings from around the media.
The 49ers are on the board with a win!
Projected wins: 2.4. Do the 49ers have another win in them? If not, they'll be staring at the first one-win season in the history of the franchise.
Again, there’s no bigger difference in the NFL than between zero wins and one win. The pressure is off now. The 49ers could go 1-15 and nobody will ever remember. That means if the 49ers want to sit out Jimmy Garoppolo, perhaps in an attempt to flip him in the offseason as some have speculated, they could without worrying about 0-16 infamy.
They won a game, and the offense looked good doing so. At some point, though, it's Jimmy Garoppolo time.
The slow crawl up the pro football ladder has begun in earnest for the pesky 49ers, who lost many a close game this season before earning W1 on Sunday versus the Giants. Good for them, and great for head coach Kyle Shanahan. While the football world has reacted to general manager John Lynch with dulcet tones and beautiful hues, Shanahan drew much criticism for his aversion to the run during Super Bowl LI. Time to let it go. In fact, his Niners ground game was formidable against Big Blue. Matt Breida filtered his way through the Giants defense for an impressive touchdown run. Filtered. Wait for it ...
Last Week’s Rank: 31
Points in MMQB Power Poll: 50
Highest-Place Vote: 28th
Lowest-Place Vote: 30th (11)
Last Week’s Result: Win vs. N.Y. Giants, 31-21
Week 11 Opponent: bye week
My good buddy Kyle Shanahan got the proverbial monkey off his back with his first NFL win.
One thing we've seen all year from the 49ers is Shanahan's ability to dial up big plays and get guys open in the passing game. Against the Giants, all of his planning produced results on the field—both in the passing game and the running game.
The 49ers still create too many self-inflicted wounds at times, and they're not that talented overall. However, they keep fighting for their coach. There is some young talent to build around with players such as Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, George Kittle and Carlos Hyde.
If San Francisco gets the quarterback position solidified long term, winning will begin for a once-proud franchise.
The Niners undoubtedly were relieved to finally get a win. But if that keeps QB Jimmy Garoppolo on the bench for at least a while longer, was it necessarily a good thing in the bigger picture?
Not so fast, Niners. They scored Win No. 1 on Sunday, and have yet to use their secret weapon – quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.