The San Francisco 49ers are back on top of the power rankings after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in resounding fashion. The red and gold's 42-19 victory didn't shake up the conference standings with the Eagles still retaining the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but it did narrow the gap between the NFC's top contenders. Despite having an identical record with the Detroit Lions (9-3) and the Dallas Cowboys (9-3), the 49ers have held onto the No. 2 seed because of their superior division records.
San Francisco toppled Philadelphia with an impressive offensive showing from quarterback Brock Purdy, who recorded a 148.8 passer rating after connecting on 19-of-27 pass attempts for 314 yards and four touchdowns, a career-best outing from wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who found the end zone three times, and contributions from many others. Defensively, the 49ers held Philadelphia to field goals on their first two drives of the game and held a top-five scoring offense to just 19 points overall.
The 49ers string of top-tier opponents is far from over with division rival, the Seattle Seahawks, visiting Levi's® Stadium in Week 14, and a date with the top team in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens, on Christmas Day.
Let's take a look at what national outlets had to say about the 49ers headed into Week 14:
Lead Draft Writer Eric Edholm
"They're back. For the first time since Week 7, the 49ers are in the pole position. At least as far as these rankings go. As for the NFC's top seed, that remains a quest in progress, even after Sunday's monstrous, resounding victory in Philly. Did the Niners catch an Eagles team that had been put through the grinder lately? Sure. But that's what the playoffs are about, right? It's a weekly deathmatch, and second place is an extra week's vacation. Who wants to see these two teams meet again in the postseason? Yeah, just about all of us -- and it feels borderline inevitable at this point. If the 49ers carry a healthy offense into a rematch, it might be too much for the Eagles -- or any other foe, for that matter -- to handle. Brock Purdy has answered any question you could have conjured up during the three-game losing streak. He was the maestro before that -- and has been since."
NFL Writer Mike Florio
"If they can keep their key players healthy, they'll easily win it all."
NFL Writer Nick Wagoner on the team's pleasant surprise
"For anyone who watched Purdy last year, it's not surprising that he has had a productive year. This is more about the extent of that production and that it has come so soon after he suffered a torn UCL in his right elbow in late January. Through 12 games, Purdy leads the NFL in QBR (75.6), completion percentage (70.2%) and yards per attempt (9.6), among other key categories. Purdy hasn't just picked up where he left off, he has been better and helped elevate the Niners' offense to heights it hasn't previously reached since coach Kyle Shanahan arrived in 2017."
NFL Writer Pete Prisco
"They showed against the Eagles that they are the best team in the league. They beat them up in all facets of the game -- on their field, no less."