49ers creep up NFL power rankings after blanking Saints in Week 12

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers and Andy Dalton #14 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers and Andy Dalton #14 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The 49ers may still not be considered a top-five team in NFL power rankings after shutting out the Saints last Sunday, but the Niners are getting there.

The San Francisco 49ers certainly improved their defensive standings after Week 12 by shutting out the New Orleans Saints at Levi’s Stadium, not only improving to 7-4 on the year but also continuing the second-half defensive scoreless streak that has paralleled their four-game win streak.

Now, entering Week 13, the Niners rank No. 1 in points allowed (173), No. 1 in yards allowed (3,099), have the least yards given up per play (4.7) and are still best against the run game with opponents averaging just 3.3 yards per rush.

All the signs of an elite defense, right? And even though NOLA isn’t exactly a high-flying offense this year, shutting out any NFL team over the course of a full 60 minutes is quite the accomplishment.

But does all that propel San Francisco into the top-five discussion heading into Week 13?

49ers climb FanSided NFL power rankings but still aren’t in top 5

The 49ers’ win over New Orleans helped them move up on spot in FanSided NFL insider Matt Verderame’s Week 13 NFL power rankings, jumping up from No. 7 to No. 6.

Interestingly, the Niners are still ahead of the Minnesota Vikings, who have the better record at 9-2, so make of that what you wish.

Still, San Francisco trails the following teams in this order:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Philadelphia Eagles
  3. Miami Dolphins
  4. Buffalo Bills
  5. Dallas Cowboys

Read More: Niners increase NFC West lead by beating Saints in Week 12

As is always the case with arguing for a team to move up in NFL power rankings, which team gets swapped out of the top five?

It’s probably an easy call for 49ers fans, taking the 8-3 Cowboys out of that No. 5 spot and changing them with the Niners, while some could argue San Francisco’s next opponent, the 8-3 Dolphins, shouldn’t be considered in the top three either.

Perhaps the 49ers beating Miami in Week 13 would go a long way in shaking up Verderame’s top-five ranking.

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