The BYE Week couldn’t come soon enough for the San Francisco 49ers. The undermanned Niners lost their previous three games by a combined 41 points to fall to 4-6. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is hoping to get some of the injured players back in time for San Francisco’s Week 12 clash against the Los Angeles Rams.
Shanahan still believes his squad at getting into the playoffs and hopes quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be back for the stretch run. If not, the already slim chance that the 49ers will get into the postseason becomes next to nothing with either Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard at the helm.
The Niners lead the league in man-games lost by a country mile and need the rest more than any other team in the NFL.
Here is where the 49ers rank in the Week 11 power rankings:
ESPN has the 49ers 17th (same spot as last week)
What would they take back: Trading DeForest Buckner
The logic behind trading Buckner to the Colts was sound: He was about to land a massive contract extension; the Niners needed to re-sign key players such as Arik Armstead and Jimmie Ward; and San Francisco was able to use the pick acquired for Buckner to land a cost-effective replacement in Javon Kinlaw. But in this injury-ravaged season, the 49ers miss Buckner’s unique combination of durability, productivity and leadership even more than they could have known at the time of the deal.
NFL.com has the 49ers 21st (down one spot from last week)
The 49ers played a nearly perfect first quarter on Sunday at the Superdome, holding the ball for 13 of the 15 minutes and taking a 10-0 lead four seconds into the second period. But Kyle Shanahan’s injury-depleted team made too many mistakes — including two muffed punts and a pair of Nick Mullens interceptions — in a 27-13 loss to the Saints. Those unforced errors were the difference on a day in which the Niners’ defense knocked Drew Brees out of the game and held the New Orleans offense to just 237 yards, the team’s lowest total in a win in 22 years. A bye week should allow San Francisco to get some players back for the homestretch — winning out might be the only path back to the playoffs.
CBS Sports has the 49ers 28th (down one spot from last week)
They competed against the Saints, but they just don’t have the talent right now. This season is done.
USA TODAY has the 49ers 22nd (up three spots from last week)
With Arik Armstead landing on COVID-19 list, Niners don’t currently have any of their five first-round D-linemen from 2019 available.
Yahoo has the 49ers 20th (down one spot from last week)
Brandon Aiyuk, one of the team’s first-round draft picks, had seven catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. There’s probably not going to be a positive ending for this season, so seeing progress from some young players will have to be the focus over the last six weeks. The Niners seem to have a good one in Aiyuk.
Bleacher Report has the 49ers (up one spot from last week)
The Super Bowl hangover has claimed another victim.
The San Francisco 49ers’ fading postseason hopes are just about finished after their loss to New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The defending NFC champions are two games under .500 and are three games back of every other NFC West team in the loss column.
No team in the league has been hit harder by injuries than the Niners. But as the playoffs become more of a pipe dream than a legitimate goal, San Francisco is running low on reasons to rush back the likes of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running back Raheem Mostert and tight end George Kittle.
This backslide is going to leave the franchise with some big questions to answer in the offseason, including whether Garoppolo is the long-term answer under center.
Here is where the rest of the NFC West teams are ranked:
Arizona Cardinals: ESPN (No. 8), NFL.com (No. 9), CBS Sports (No. 13), USA TODAY (No. 8), Yahoo! (No. 9), Bleacher Report (No. 11)
Los Angeles Rams: ESPN (No. 9), NFL.com (No. 10), CBS Sports (No. 10),
USA TODAY (No. 9), Yahoo! (No. 8), Bleacher Report (No. 14)
Seattle Seahawks: ESPN (No. 10), NFL.com (No. 13), CBS Sports (No. 11),
USA TODAY (No. 14), Yahoo! (No. 14), Bleacher Report (No. 7)
Where would you rank the Niners among all NFL teams?