After beating Washington last week 9-0, the San Francisco 49ers fell all the way to No. 3 in the NFL’s Power Rankings. Kyle Shanahan was able to call plays with the sun shining in Week 8, and we saw the type of team the 49ers can be. A 51-14 smackdown over a potential playoff team bumped the 49ers up to No. 2 in this week’s Power Rankings. Here’s what was said about the Niners:
Previous rank: No. 3
Absolute dominance on Sunday by the 49ers, who welcomed the red-hot Panthers to their house ... and promptly crushed their spirits. This is what the great teams do, and week after week, we’re seeing that San Francisco should be viewed through that prism. Tevin Coleman was the big star on offense, piling up four touchdowns (three on the ground) in the best game of his career. The standout on defense was rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who finished with three sacks and an acrobatic leaping interception that he nearly returned for a score. Bosa has removed all doubt from the Defensive Rookie of the Year race -- and now you have to start thinking of Bosa as a very real candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Lawrence Taylor (1981) is the only rookie to win DPOY, and Bosa’s impact on the Niners is similar to LT’s on those Giants. Every team needs a Bosa boy.
Carolina was coming off a bye week. They looked like a team that played on Saturday. That’s a critical point about what great teams do. They consistently embarrass other teams. It may not show up on the scoreboard, 9-0, for example, but these games aren’t close. It’s almost boring watching San Francisco this season because they get up early, and by the time the third quarter rolls around, they’re in cruise control.
Comparing a rookie to a Hall of Famer is the definition of hyperbole and being a prisoner of the moment...99.9% of the time, just not this time. Bosa has seven sacks in seven games and could easily have over ten if not for letting a few slip out of his grasp early in the season.
The 49ers rookie deserves all of the credit he’s receiving. It feels like it’s taking away from how well the other players on the defense are performing. Bosa noted that two of his sacks could have easily been DeForest Buckner’s on Sunday. That said a lot about Nick, and he’s been humble throughout this season. Bosa has given credit to the players around him, his staff, essentially anybody that has helped him along the way. That makes him easy to root for. Seeing the defense play as one and celebrate no matter who makes a play makes them even more entertaining.
Here’s to hoping Baltimore upsets New England so the 49ers can claim that No. 1 spot.