The San Francisco 49ers are trending upwards following their monster win over the Los Angeles Rams. The victory improves their record to 4-4 on the year, and more importantly, keeps them perfect in divisional play. The dominant fashion in which they defeated LA - shutting the Rams out in the second half and scoring 21 unanswered points - is reflected in this week's NFL power rankings. San Francisco went from mid-range to upper tier heading into their Week 9 Bye.
One thing is for sure, the 49ers are enjoying early returns on their newly acquired running back Christian McCaffrey. In his second game as a 49ers player, the dual-threat back made franchise and NFL history, recording a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game. McCaffrey is just the fourth player to accomplish the feat since the 1970 NFL merger and first to do it since Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005.
The focus for head coach Kyle Shanahan as the team prepares to take some time off is to get healthy. With a number of players dealing with some lingering injuries from the first half of the season, this week off will be crucial.
"We need the Bye week. We need to rest up a little bit and hopefully get some guys back. Right when we get it going a little bit, it is always tough to take some time off, but I do think we need it just for our health. We have to come back in here and have a good Monday, good Tuesday before we get going with the gameplan next Wednesday."
Here's a look at the NFL power rankings from several national outlets:
Around the NFL Writer Dan Hanzus
"All the pundits who criticized the 49ers trade for Christian McCaffrey got real quiet on Sunday. CMC became the first running back since 2005 -- and just the third since 1970 -- to register a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and passing score in the same game, a 31-14 beatdown of the Rams at SoFi Stadium. The Niners continue to dominate their rivalry with the defending Super Bowl champions: San Francisco has now won eight consecutive games over the Rams in the regular season."
NFL Writer Nick Wagoner
"Now, the Niners enter the second half of the season with McCaffrey, receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and tight end George Kittle. Running back Elijah Mitchell and fullback Kyle Juszczyk are expected to come back after the Bye week. That's a whole lot of firepower for QB Jimmy Garoppolo."
Fox Sports: 10
NFL Writer David Helman
"It felt like Kyle Shanahan was going out of his way to showcase just what Christian McCaffrey is capable of — as if we needed the reminder. We know this defense is legit, and we already knew the offense was versatile. Add a running back who's capable of throwing up 183 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, and you've definitely got a group that looks like one of the NFC's best."