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2021 NFL Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the San Francisco 49ers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 14 roundup for the 49ers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

Player who must step up: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo has played well recently (aside from a Week 13 dud versus Seattle), though it's no coincidence that the good performances have coincided with the resurgence of San Francisco's running game. Ideally for all involved, that would continue. But it's likely that the 49ers will find themselves in a meaningful game or two like that against Seattle in which the opposing defense will force Garoppolo to carry a heavier load. His ability to do that will not only play a big role in San Francisco's postseason hopes but also in Garoppolo's future. A finishing flourish would only bolster his value as he heads toward an uncertain offseason. -- Nick Wagoner

NFL.com -- Rank: 14

The 49ers suffered their most frustrating loss of the season on Sunday in Seattle, a game that will be remembered for an unending litany of self-inflicted errors. They allowed a 73-yard touchdown on a fake punt run. They fumbled a kick return. They threw two interceptions, and took a sack in the end zone for a safety. They were charged with 10 penalties, including two critical roughing the passer fouls. And even with all that mess, the Niners were 3 yards away from the potential game-tying score when Jimmy G's fourth-down pass attempt was batted away in the final seconds. "We definitely blew it," Nick Bosa said after the game. "... We got to do a better job of not giving the game away."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

Losing to the Seahawks on the road is a bad loss for the 49ers and their playoff hopes. They seemed to fall apart in the second half.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

The defense has nine takeaways over the past four games and could feast on a sloppy Cincinnati team Sunday -- assuming it can keep the points down after surrendering 56 over the last two weeks.

The Athletic -- Rank: 14

Best-case scenario: After losing at Seattle, the 49ers feel like they're stuck in limbo between being a playoff team that needs to ride Jimmy Garoppolo and one that would benefit from starting several rookies, beginning with quarterback Trey Lance. The ideal scenario for San Francisco might be to lock up a playoff berth headed into its Week 18 matchup with the Rams, which would allow the 49ers to start Lance and rest some starters. That scenario worked out well for Kansas City in 2017, when Patrick Mahomes threw for 284 yards in his first career start in a Week 17 win against Denver.

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