Schrock's NFL power rankings: Where the 49ers stand after Week 14

Schrock’s NFL power rankings: Where the 49ers stand after Week 14

Week 14 of the NFL season continued to brighten the championship picture.

The Philadelphia Eagles have found some cutting-edge new gear in New York, snagging 48 on a Giants team that’s leaking oil like a 1972 Chevelle. In the Bay Area, Brock “Don’t Call Me Irrelevant” Purdy and the 49ers made a statement with a 35-7 dismantling of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers resurrected their playoff hopes with a gutsy “Taekz Bowl” win over Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins.

As for the Bears, their draft position took a hit on Sunday as the Denver Broncos continue to be able to get only moral victories.

Here’s where each team stands after Sunday’s Week 14 action:

32. Houston Texans (1-11-1): The Texans caught the Cowboys off guard with the Davis Mills-Jeff Driskel QB combo, but it wasn’t good enough for them to finish the upset. As the old saying goes, if you have two quarterbacks, you have none. The Texans need to find their franchise flagger as soon as possible.

31. Denver Broncos (3-10): Denver can’t eat the dead blow required to cut a seemingly washed Russ. The Broncos’ best chance may be to bring in Frank Reich to see if he can salvage the ruins of a franchise-destroying trade.

30. Chicago Bears (3-10): The Bears come off the bye week to face an Eagles team that just hung 48 on the Giants and seems to be in top gear. Good luck.

29. Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1): It was a good Sunday for the Colts as wins for the Panthers and Jaguars lifted them to 7th overall in the draft. They can move to No. 6 if the Cardinals beat the Patriots on Monday night. It’s the only kind of win at Indy this season.

28. Los Angeles Rams (4-9): Baker Mayfield and Sean McVay could be a really fun couple for the next four weeks. Or maybe the Raiders stink.

27. New Orleans Saints (4-9): If the Saints hadn’t snuffed out last Monday night’s game, there would be a four-way tie in the NFC South at 5-8. As it stands, the Saints are the sole holders of the last place. Tough times on the Bayou.

26. Arizona Cardinals (4-8): There’s no way the Cardinals are coming back with Kliff, Kyler and Keim next season, is there?

25. Atlanta Falcons (5-8): It’s Desmond Ridder’s time in Atlanta. Better late than never, I guess.

24. Cleveland Browns (5-8): The Browns’ run defense lacks honor.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8): Mitch Trubisky just isn’t an NFL quarterback. Never was. Will never be.

22. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8): The Raiders have now lost to Baker Mayfield after spending two days in Los Angeles and Jeff on Saturday after taking part in “Get Up!” during two years. Impressive.

21. Carolina Panthers (5-8): Are the Sam Darnold-led Panthers the best team in the NFC South?

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8): On Sunday, Trevor Lawrence became the youngest player in NFL history to throw for 350 yards, three touchdowns and rush for a touchdown in one game. The stock explodes.

19. New England Patriots (6-6): From poor protection to a vanilla scheme, there are plenty of problems with the Patriots offense in 2022, but Mac Jones is the least of their worries.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7): The Bucs can’t run the ball, can’t protect Tom Brady, and can’t find a way to consistently involve Mike Evans. This is only the beginning of the problems in Tampa.

17. Green Bay Packers (5-8): The Packers’ playoff hopes aren’t dead yet, but it will take some Aaron Rodgers magic to get Green Bay to the playoffs. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

16. New York Giants (7-5-1): The Giants were a fun story in the first half, but Brian Daboll’s side limped to the finish line. New York has won just one game since Week 8 and was hampered by the Eagles on Sunday. Anything left for next week’s critical showdown with the commanders?

15. Tennessee Titans (7-6): The Titans fired their general manager midweek, then the team came out and laid an egg against the Jags. The ship sinks in Nashville.

14. Seattle Seahawks (7-6): Seattle has given up 90 runs on 33 drives since its bye week. That’s 2.73 points per practice, which would be by far the worst in the NFL on the season. The Seahawks have been unmasked.

13. New York Jets (7-6): Robert Saleh said the Jets will see the Bills again come playoff time. The Jets have to get there first.

12. Washington Commanders (7-5-1): Washington sat at home Sunday and saw its playoff chances rise with losses to the Giants and Seahawks. A victory next Sunday against New York and the Commanders should be in control of the sixth seed.

11. Detroit Lions (6-7): Just like that, the Lions went from 1-6 to 6-7 and are aiming for the playoffs. Detroit tripled its playoff chances with Sunday’s win over the Vikings (7-21%). Are the Lions the fourth best team in the NFC? I could do the case.

10. Minnesota Vikings (10-3): How am I supposed to take Vikings seriously? A 10-win team with a negative point differential? If he walks like an impostor and talks like an impostor…

9. Miami Dolphins (8-5): The 49ers showed the plan to stop the Dolphins offense. The fact that the Chargers were able to do the same with a secondary patchwork and below average coverage linebackers should set off alarm bells in South Beach.

8. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6): Is eight high for a 7-6 Chargers team that struggled to stop the run and can’t protect its quarterback? Yeah. But with Mike Williams and Keenan Allen back, and a flexible schedule ahead of them, I like that the Chargers land the No. 7 seed in the AFC.

7. Baltimore Ravens (9-4): The Roquan Smith trade was the best move of the trade deadline, but not in the way the Bears hoped.

6. Dallas Cowboys (10-3): The Cowboys slept 57.5 minutes against the Texans on Sunday. But goal-line position and game-winning driving were enough to give Dallas its 10th win. Good teams find a way to win.

5. San Francisco 49ers (9-4): If Trent Dilfer can win a Super Bowl behind a much-vaunted defense, I see no reason why Brock Purdy can’t do the same with Kyle Shanahan and the embarrassment of the 49ers behind him.

4. Buffalo Bills (10-3): Bill relied on their defense to beat the Jets on Sunday, but Josh Allen knows Buffalo’s offense needs to improve for there to be a parade at Orchard Park in February.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3): Travis Kelce perfectly summed up the Chiefs’ flaws and their hopes after averting disaster against the Broncos on Sunday. “Even when you think you have us, we still have 1-5 there.”

2. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4): The Bengals kept Nick Chubb and Derrick Henry in check while limiting Patrick Mahomes to a season-low 223-yard pass. Cincy can beat you in several ways.

1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1): The NFL’s Death Star appears to be fully operational in Philadelphia, and the Eagles still think they have another gear to hit. Scary hours for the rest of the NFC.

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