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49ers head into a final stretch against a tough slate of opponents

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It’s power rankings time!

The NFL wrapped up Week 12 with the Houston Texans setting a franchise record with their eighth straight win. Houston beat Tennessee to improve to 8-3 and holds a two-game lead over Indianapolis in the AFC South. The Texans are tied with the Patriots for the second best record in the AFC.

Meanwhile, our San Francisco 49ers are stumbling along at the bottom of the pack, and things are only going to get more difficult. In my latest NFL power rankings heading into Week 13, the 49ers remain 31st. I dropped them there after their loss to the Giants, and it’s going to take some work to drop them below the Raiders. But for now, the bottom three remain Raiders, 49ers, Cardinals.

The 49ers have five games remaining, and four, if not all five, will be difficult matchups. They travel to Seattle (12th in my power rankings) and face them again two weeks later. In between they host a surging Broncos team (17th) that has back-to-back wins over the Chargers and Steelers. Denver has been inconsistent, but that defense is especially tough and will give Nick Mullens & Co. a difficult time.

After that three-game stretch, they host Chicago (fifth) and then travel to face the Rams (second). LA in Week 17 is tough to predict given what they may or may not have clinched by then. But there is a very real possibility the 49ers are sitting at 2-13 heading into their season finale. An upset along the way is possible, but this is a rough stretch for the 49ers.

On to my Week 13 NFL power rankings!

NFL power rankings, Week 13

Rank Team LW
Rank Team LW
1 New Orleans Saints (10-1) 1
2 Los Angeles Rams (10-1) 2
3 Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) 3
4 New England Patriots (8-3) 4
5 Chicago Bears (8-3) 5
6 Houston Texans (8-3) 6
7 Los Angeles Chargers (8-3) 8
8 Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) 9
9 Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1) 7
10 Indianapolis Colts (6-5) 10
11 Baltimore Ravens (6-5) 12
12 Seattle Seahawks (6-5) 14
13 Dallas Cowboys (6-5) 19
14 Carolina Panthers (6-5) 11
15 Washington (6-5) 13
16 Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) 20
17 Denver Broncos (5-6) 21
18 Tennessee Titans (5-6) 15
19 Miami Dolphins (5-6) 18
20 Green Bay Packers (4-6-1) 16
21 Cleveland Browns (4-6-1) 25
22 Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) 17
23 Detroit Lions (4-7) 22
24 Atlanta Falcons (4-7) 23
25 Buffalo Bills (4-7) 27
26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) 29
27 Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) 24
28 New York Giants (3-8) 26
29 New York Jets (3-8) 28
30 Arizona Cardinals (2-9) 30
31 San Francisco 49ers (2-9) 31
32 Oakland Raiders (2-9) 32