NFL power rankings: 49ers garner respect after tough Week 6 loss to Packers

San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a tough prime-time loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 6, which earned them some cred in league-wide experts’ NFL power rankings entering Week 7.

Grossly disappointing is the only way to describe the San Francisco 49ers33-30 Monday Night Football loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 6. It’s yet another one of those games the Niners could have won this season. They were in position to do so, holding a seven-point lead over quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers late in the fourth quarter.

But Rodgers did his Rodgers-like magic when it mattered most. And San Francisco isn’t the first team Rodgers has victimized late in the fourth quarter. It won’t be the last either.

The 49ers’ valiant effort throughout the game didn’t go unnoticed by experts around the league, who dished out their NFL power rankings in advance of Week 7.

True, the Niners don’t climb a ton (if at all) in most experts’ takes. But virtually every expert pointed out the tenacity with which head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad fought over the course of four quarters.

Especially quarterback C.J. Beathard, who arguably had the best game of his pro career and finished with a solid 115.3 passer rating on the night.

So let’s look around the league and see what the experts say about San Francisco in their Week 7 NFL power rankings.

Elliot Harrison, 31 (+1)

"The 49ers move up a spot, the only team in this week’s rankings to do so after a loss, thanks to a valiant performance at Lambeau. Kyle Shanahan’s group has yet to log a win this season in any of C.J. Beathard’s three starts, although the second-year pro out of Iowa has played well in two of them — including Monday night’s outing, which saw him post a 115.3 passer rating.Still, while Beathard completed 16 of his 23 passes, one incompletion stood out, and it came on the third-and-4 on the Packers’ side of the field early in the fourth quarter. Beathard had his tight end (and former college teammate), George Kittle, open on a short out route in the flat, but the QB double-clutched and overshot the throw. Consequently, San Francisco was forced to settle for the field goal.Beathard’s late interception, when the Packers all-out blitzed, wasn’t his finest effort, either, although Green Bay’s Kevin King outpositioned Marquise Goodwin for the football. Beathard’s deep ball to Goodwin earlier in the evening was beautiful. The 49ers deserved to win. Aaron Rodgers gives no quarter."

ESPN Power Panel: 30 (even)

"During a tough season, you find silver linings wherever you can. The 49ers have gotten off to better starts in each of the past two games, scoring touchdowns on their opening drive in both games after going without a touchdown on the first drive in each of the first four weeks."

San Francisco 49ers Green Bay Packers Monday Night Football positition grades and analysis
San Francisco 49ers QB Marquise Goodwin (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 29 (+3)

"That was an impressive showing against the Packers. Give this young team a lot of credit for competing."

Nate Davis, USA Today Sports: 30 (+2)

"They seem to lose a key player by the week, yet Kyle Shanahan’s charges fight to the final whistle every time out, an encouraging sign for the future."

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: 28 (+4)

"The 49ers deserved better on Monday night. Aaron Rodgers just beat them in the end. But they played hard, again. Kyle Shanahan is doing a great job putting C.J. Beathard in positions to succeed. It’s hard to be too positive about a 1-5 team, but I’m impressed with how they’ve handled themselves after Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury. The results just aren’t there."

The MMQB Staff, Sports Illustrated: 29 (+2)

"The 49ers gave the Packers everything they had, and then Aaron Rodgers happened. But in a season that was lost as soon as Jimmy G went down, a moral victory and a loss in the standings isn’t the worst result."

True, moral victories aren’t exactly a way to appease a frustrated fanbase or to gain national notoriety. But the game could have been far worse. San Francisco wasn’t embarrassed on the national stage, and one can imagine most predicted an absolute blowout at the hands of the Packers.

The fact the Niners went toe to toe with Green Bay over the course of four quarters and forced Rodgers to perform his magic late is a small consolation prize to a 49ers team, which is again looking at a top-five pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

At least the effort is being recognized in experts’ NFL power rankings for this week.

Life won’t get any easier for San Francisco in Week 7, however, as it hosts the undefeated Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium.

Next. Analyzing C.J. Beathard's Week 6 performance vs. Packers. dark

That’s projected to be a blowout too, so maybe Shanahan’s squad can retain some momentum en route to not being embarrassed at home this week.