Niner Noise looks around the league to see what experts and analysts are saying about the San Francisco 49ers in their latest NFL power rankings.
Well, the San Francisco 49ers’ start to the 2017 season couldn’t have gone off to much of a worse start.
The Niners were wholly beaten by the visiting Carolina Panthers, 23-3, in a game where head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense generated a mere 217 yards of total offense. And San Francisco’s revamped defense, while showing signs of promise, simply couldn’t hold the line long enough to give Shanahan and Co. a fighting chance.
Needless to say, it’s not a promising beginning to this new era in Santa Clara.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco’s misfortunes were certainly reflected in analysts’ takes in their latest NFL power rankings heading into Week 2.
So let’s take a look around the league and see where the Niners are being ranked and why.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: 30 (-2)
"Hard to imagine a head-coaching debut going much worse than Kyle Shanahan’s. Well, until you consider Brian Hoyer’s initial entry into the pantheon of 49ers legendary quarterbacks. The journeyman was swallowed whole by the Panthers, posting sub-200 yards and turning the ball over twice in a game San Francisco’s offense never had a chance in. Like, not even in the first quarter. The Niners failed on nine third downs (2 for 11). But at least they made up for it by getting penalized over and over again (10 times). If you have the game DVRd for whatever reason, wipe it for another episode of “Antiques Roadshow.” Although, you do need to see Jaquiski Tartt’s big-league interception. Here it is. You’re welcome."
ESPN: 29 (+2)
"The 49ers scored three points in their season opener after ranking 27th in scoring last year. Possible overreaction: The offense was supposed to be better this year, but with the Seahawks and Rams on the schedule the next two weeks, it might be a while before San Francisco finds the end zone again."
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 31 (even)
"They did little on offense against the Panthers, which isn’t a good sign for new coach Kyle Shanahan, a supposed offensive wizard."
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: 30 (even)
"It is going to be a tough season for Kyle Shanahan. We saw last season how good he can be calling offensive plays. But you still need talent, and he doesn’t have Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman or Julio Jones anymore. The 49ers might have a few 3-point games this season."
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Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: 30 (-4)
"Quarterback Brian Hoyer was under pressure a lot in this game—and the play of guard Zane Beadles is concerning. However, Hoyer also made some mistakes himself, including a costly interception. He struggled to hit the big play, even when San Francisco was able to get guys open downfield. This was a question mark with him heading into the season.Defensively, the 49ers have some talented pieces but not nearly enough of them. San Francisco better hope it can get rookie linebacker Reuben Foster back sooner than later because he may already be the best player on the defense."
And, if you’d like, you can always check out Niner Noise’s most recent NFL power rankings here (hint: the Niners aren’t that high either).
No, Shanahan’s debut didn’t go so well. But as B/R’s Chris Simms pointed out, he doesn’t exactly have loads of talent on the offensive side of the ball. The hope will be, of course, finding a way for San Francisco’s offense to finally jell against what looks to be stiff competition the next two weeks.
The Niners travel to take on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. Considering San Francisco hasn’t won a game at CenturyLink Field since 2011, it’s likely Shanahan’s head coaching career gets off to an 0-2 start.