49ers climb Week 14 NFL power rankings despite Jimmy Garoppolo loss
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers are without Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the year, but an impressive win over the Dolphins propelled them up in FanSided’s NFL power rankings.
There’s a very real chance the San Francisco 49ers’ aspirations for a Super Bowl crown were carted away on the same cart that carried quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo off the field early in what turned into the Niners’ 33-17 Week 13 win over the visiting Miami Dolphins.
Garoppolo is out for the rest of the year with a foot injury that’ll require surgery, and usually, when teams lose their starting quarterback to such a setback, it signals the end of any realistic championship chance.
Don’t tell that to Mr. Irrelevant, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, though.
Purdy played well in relief of Garoppolo, going 25-of-37 for 210 yards with two touchdown passes against an interception, largely living off short and quick strikes in an offensive-friendly system under head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Will Purdy play better than Garoppolo down the stretch? No, but that doesn’t matter.
Instead, San Francisco’s Week 13 win in the wake of losing Garoppolo is indicative for a number of other reasons. Shanahan beating a playoff-contending Dolphins team in a relatively sound fashion despite losing Garoppolo is a pretty good statement, and it isn’t as if the 49ers’ elite defense and an array of offensive playmaking superstars simply went away either.
If beating Miami was a team effort, the Niners have a pretty good team and one that rises in FanSided’s NFL power rankings heading into Week 14.
49ers continue NFL power ranking climb despite Jimmy Garoppolo injury
FanSided’s Russell Baxter’s Week 14 NFL power rankings actually have San Francisco climbing up in standings despite losing Garoppolo to the season-ending injury.
The 49ers jumped from No. 10 to No. 7 after beating Miami, and here is Baxter’s justification:
"The impressive 49ers had a real challenge on its hands when they faced the explosive Miami Dolphins. The good news was the relentless Niners’ defense. It gave up a 75-yard TD pass on the first play of the game and just 233 total yards the rest of the way.The bad news was that San Francisco lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with a broken foot. Rookie Brock Purdy responded in a big way, as did veteran kicker Robbie Gould via four field goals."
It’ll stay a massive challenge for the Niners to roll with Purdy for the rest of the year, and it might be fair to say San Francisco’s Super Bowl chances just took a massive hit.
However, the 49ers can nevertheless look to their defense and other offensive playmakers to pick up the slack, particularly in Week 14 when an inconsistent and underperforming Tampa Bay Buccaneers team comes to town.