The San Francisco 49ers were once as high as No. 2 earlier in the season, but naturally, disappointing losses and game-costing mistakes forced San Francisco to slide their way down the rankings. However, San Francisco appears to have caught its stride in the midway point of the season, winning three of their last four contests, including two decisive wins in back-to-back weeks that have moved the club into postseason discussions, should the team continue on it's recent streak of success.
Heading into a contest against a 5-5 Minnesota Vikings team that is also on the ascent, here is a roundup from various media outlets on where the 49ers are ranked heading into Week 12.
Previous Rank: 15
The 49ers look formidable after a convincing victory Sunday at Jacksonville on the heels of an impressive triumph the previous Monday night at home over the Rams. The 49ers are using their running game and crafting ridiculously long drives, such as the opening FG march against the Jaguars that lasted 20 plays and took more than 13 minutes, and QB Jimmy Garoppolo played mistake-free football.
Previous Rank: 21
Last Week: 16
San Francisco is playing much better. A win this weekend against Minnesota would be huge.
Previous Rank: 17
The 49ers are on the rise. Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes for the third-consecutive game, and Kyle Shanahan's creative use of do-it-all star Deebo Samuel produced another touchdown in a 30-10 win over the Jaguars. San Francisco has now won back-to-back games in decisive fashion, setting up a huge Week 12 showdown with the surging Vikings. The Niners remain deadly in the red zone: Their 77.8 percent TD conversion mark leads the NFL by a significant margin. Ironically, San Fran's most memorable drive on Sunday -- a 20-play, 13-minute marathon -- ended with a piddly field goal. "I wanted to go for it bad," Shanahan said. According to ESPN, it was the longest drive in 20 years.
Previous Rank: 19
They're lying in weeds after beating the Rams on a Monday night before securing a win in Jacksonville despite a 1 p.m. ET kickoff and a cross-country flight during a short week. Sunday's home date with Minnesota could have major playoff ramifications.
Previous Rank: 20
They can be very dangerous, if they can survive past Week 18.
Previous Rank: 20
They've won two straight to get back on track as a possible playoff team. The schedule is brutal down the stretch, but they are playing much better.
Previous Ranking: 20
The San Francisco 49ers are back in it. Last week, the 49ers got their biggest win of the season, pounding the Los Angeles Rams by three touchdowns. Winning in similar fashion against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars might not be as impressive, but it was every bit as important. The 49ers are back to .500 for the first time since Week 4 after winning three of four.
Veteran left tackle Trent Williams told reporters after the game that the Niners are playing at the level he knew they were capable of.
"I don't feel like some light clicked on or nothing," Williams said. "That's what we want to do every game. Sometimes they make a good play, we make mistakes and it doesn't go our way. But that is how we always want to play a game like that."
The Niners are still on the outside of the postseason picture at present. But with two straight coming up against teams that are .500 or worse and San Fran playing well, the team could crash the wild-card race soon enough.
Previous Ranking: 23
Turns out Kyle Shanahan can coach. The offense is buzzing with better health and an on-point Jimmy Garoppolo. The defense has started to respond behind Nick Bosa. They 49ers aren't all the way back, but they're on the brink of being a playoff team again.