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There’s a new No. 1

San Francisco is now the top team in the NFL’s power rankings

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

There is one undefeated team in the NFL after nine weeks of football. You’re lying to yourself if you saw the San Francisco 49ers starting 8-0. Even the most optimistic fan would have had 6-2 or 5-3. In the latest NFL Power rankings, the 49ers are No. 1. Here is the blurb on the top team in the league:

Previous rank: No. 2

The scariest thing that happened on Halloween night? Jimmy Garoppolo played like a star. We already knew the 49ers could be a dominant team with Jimmy G in Game Manager mode. But what happens if San Francisco’s 28-year-old quarterback makes the leap? If he becomes the franchise passer, many expected after his flash of success that ended the 2017 season and preceded the knee injury that cut his 2018 season short? Against the Cardinals, Garoppolo finished 28 of 37 for 317 yards with a career-high four touchdown passes, zero interceptions, and a passer rating of 136.9, another career high-water mark in a game he started. And best of all for coach Kyle Shanahan? This didn’t feel like a guy playing over his head. Garoppolo has always had immense promise ... this was a reminder. We’ll find out soon enough if he can raise his game in the same manner when matched up against better competition, but for now, life keeps getting better for the undefeated 49ers.

The question I ask is, what happens when Jimmy plays like Thursday night, and the defense plays like we know they’re capable of? Think about it. Has there been a game where everything has clicked for San Francisco? Even against Carolina, they let Christian McCaffrey break a couple of longer runs. That game is coming, and hopefully next Monday night.

There is better competition coming up. The 49ers will play six playoff contenders in the last eight games. Jimmy and the entire team will need to step their games up. With all of the talk about “who has the 49ers played,” it’s a bit naive to think the team won’t be focused and locked in against playoff teams.