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Power Rankings: 49ers Enter Week 8 as a Top Five Contender

The San Francisco 49ers have two tough road losses to their name as they return home following Week 7. Monday night's clash against the Minnesota Vikings came down to winning the turnover battle, some breakdowns in third down defense and a sharp night from opposing quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Vikings QB closed out the night completing 35-of-45 passing attempts for 378 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Despite falling behind early, the 49ers kept the game within reach, and the contest ended in a one-score differential.

Up next for the 49ers is a matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals at Levi's® Stadium in Week 8 before the Bye. The Bengals (3-3) are coming off a week of rest and are looking to turn their season around while San Francisco has its eyes set on a 6-2 record heading into the second half of the year.

Let's take a look at what national outlets had to say about the 49ers headed into Week 8:

Lead Draft Writer Eric Edholm

"Week 6 in Cleveland, Brock Purdy earned credit after a tough day for putting the 49ers in a position to win, even if that didn't happen. Monday night in Minnesota was shaping up as perfect redemption, but it ended in a nightmare. Purdy was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter on a pair of errant throws, with the latter ending the Niners' comeback attempt in painful fashion. That's now two straight losses after the 5-0 start, and both the Browns and Vikings were able to prevail despite missing key offensive pieces. With Purdy's two picks and Christian McCaffrey's second lost fumble in three weeks, the 49ers defense had to be razor-sharp on Monday -- and it wasn't. What an unexpected turn, and now the rested Bengals come to Levi's® Stadium on Sunday."

NFL Writer Nick Wagoner on Young Stars to Watch on the 49ers:

"After a disappointing start to last season, the 24-year-old played like one of the best cover corners in the league last postseason and spent the offseason working on playing the deep ball better. Going into Monday night, that work has paid off. Among cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps, Lenoir is tied for 14th in passer rating allowed (67.7) and eighth in EPA when targeted (-12.0), according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He also has two interceptions and hasn't allowed a touchdown."

NFL Writer Pete Prisco

"They've lost two straight games, and the defense was gutted by the Vikings. Now here come the Bengals and Joe Burrow."

NFL Writer David Helman

"Maybe I should drop the 49ers further for losing their second game, but the loss in Minnesota simply puts them on par with the rest of the league. They've had a chance to win both of these games in the final seconds, and I think they'll be fine when they get their stars back."

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