The San Francisco 49ers reclaimed the top spot in most NFL power rankings this week after their impressive 33-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13. The 49ers relied on their ferocious defense and just enough offense to hand the Eagles their first home loss of the season.
49ers Dominate Eagles to Prove They Are League’s Best Team
The 49ers cemented themselves as the best team in the NFL with their statement win over the Eagles, showing they have what it takes on both sides of the ball to make a deep playoff run.
NFL Week 14 Power Rankings
Rank | Team | Record
1 | San Francisco 49ers | 8-4
2 | Philadelphia Eagles | 11-1
3 | Kansas City Chiefs | 9-3
4 | Dallas Cowboys | 9-3
5 | Minnesota Vikings | 10-2
The 49ers defense harassed Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts all game, sacking him twice and forcing him into his worst passing performance of the season. They also held the Eagles to just 70 rushing yards. On offense, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy threw for 204 yards and the 49ers ran for 136 yards against Philly’s staunch defense despite missing star running back Christian McCaffrey.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said postgame, "We knew we had to come out and make a statement today. This was a battle of the NFC’s best and I feel we showed who the better team is right now. But the job is far from finished."
Most NFL analysts now view the 49ers as slight Super Bowl favorites over the Chiefs, with the Eagles and Cowboys trailing closely behind. But with four weeks left in the season, much could still change in the competitive NFC playoff picture.
Surging Cowboys, Ravens Round Out Top 5
Besides the 49ers’ move to #1, the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys also continued rising in the Week 14 power rankings after statement wins in Week 13. The Ravens dominated the Denver Broncos 10-9, while the Cowboys routed the Indianapolis Colts 54-19.
Ravens Ride Stingy Defense into Playoff Position
Despite dealing with injuries to starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, the resilient Ravens have now won two straight games. They are led by backup QB Tyler Huntley and a defense allowing just 16.8 points per game, second best in the NFL. The Ravens likely need to keep winning to fend off the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North division race.
Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons said of the Ravens defense, "That is an angry, hungry group playing at an extremely high level even without some of their stars. You can tell they’re out to prove doubters wrong, and that starts with their defense."
Cowboys Build Steam as Playoffs Near
The Cowboys put together their most dominant performance of the year in throttling the hapless Colts to firmly cement themselves as Super Bowl contenders yet again under coach Mike McCarthy. They will face a tough test in Week 14 at home against the streaking Houston Texans, who are aiming to stay in the mix for the AFC South division title.
What’s Next in Week 14 and Beyond
Some other key games with playoff implications in Week 14 include:
Vikings (10-2) at Lions (5-7): The Lions aim to stay in the NFC wild card hunt against division rivals Minnesota. The Vikings are eager to keep pace with Philly and San Fran atop the NFC.
Jets (7-5) at Bills (9-3): Feisty New York heads to Buffalo with upset on their minds, while the Bills want to widen their lead in the AFC East.
Buccaneers (6-6) at 49ers (8-4): Tom Brady makes his first visit back to San Francisco trying to keep Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes alive.
As for the rest of the regular season, the league-leading Eagles face a tough closing stretch including two games against the Giants. They will likely need at least 5 more wins to secure the NFC’s #1 seed.
The 49ers have an easier ending schedule, so they could realistically win out to finish 13-4. But they still have a pivotal Week 18 game in Las Vegas that could decide the NFC West division.
In the AFC, Kansas City has a clear path to the AFC West crown and No. 1 seed, while Buffalo and Cincinnati battle for first-round byes. Miami, Baltimore, the LA Chargers and Tennessee are all firmly in the mix too heading down the stretch.
No matter what happens, the final month of the NFL regular season promises to provide captivating drama as usual. Every game takes on extra importance with teams vying for playoff positioning and fighting just to get into the postseason. So expect competitive, intense action across the league in December and early January.
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