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NFL Power Rankings Week 8: San Francisco 49ers Staying on Top

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The San Francisco 49ers captured their fourth-straight victory of the season on Sunday, defeating the Tennessee Titans 31-17. San Francisco improved to 5-2 while securing their first win in Tennessee.

Colin Kaepernick made his share of plays through the air and on the ground, the defense played well overall and Kassim Osgood contributed with a late-game special teams touchdown. San Francisco put on display a total team effort from start to finish.

Below is a quick glance at where the 49ers stand in some of this week's NFL power rankings:

Yahoo -- Frank Schwab -- No. 7 (Last week: No. 7)

"Great win on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick finally seems to be settling in, and being more aggressive with his running too. That game made you think the 49ers are starting to get it going."

Kaepernick appears to be getting in rhythm with his receivers, but the dual-threat quarterback is also becoming a more-willing runner based on his 11 carries against Tennessee. Effective runs by Kaepernick will only make the 49ers offense even harder to stop. -- Pat Kirwan -- No. 6 (Last week: No. 7)

"Re-committing to the run spawned the current four-game winning streak (averaging 33 points). No word on the return of Aldon Smith, which becomes a concern the longer he's out. The Jaguars are up next, which means that winning streak reaches five."

Since the 49ers returned to their physical brand of football with Frank Gore, the offense has become much more fluid. Even though San Francisco has won without their star pass-rusher in Aldon Smith, his absence could be magnified when playing against the elite teams and quarterbacks.

With the Jacksonville Jaguars coming up, the 49ers should not have much problem extending their win streak. -- Elliot Harrison -- No. 6 (Last week: No. 7)

"Two big factors in the Niners' win in Tennessee : Anquan Boldin and Colin Kaepernick . Boldin made a couple of sick catches, one on the left sideline with a single hand , the other on a lunge down the right sideline . Kaepernick, meanwhile, ran for 68 yards and a score."

It would be scary to imagine what the 49ers' passing attack would look like without Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Boldin may not pile up the gaudy numbers, but he'll come through with some tough catches to help his quarterback out.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has dialed down the zone read option this year, but when called upon, that play can still yield positive results.

Fox Sports -- Brian Billick -- No. 6 (Last week: No. 6)

"Here come the 49ers. After starting 1-2, they have now won four in a row and are scoring 33 points per game while only giving up 12.8 during their win streak."

49er fans may have been in a state of panic after their slow start, but the team is on a roll right now. Both the offense and defense are clicking even without some of their top players on board. -- No. 6 (Last Week: No. 7)

"The 49ers are running again, rushing on 59 percent of their plays during their four-game win streak. The 49ers ran 35 percent of the time in their first three games (1-2)."

It can't be stated enough. The 49ers' success depends heavily on the ground game while controlling the clock. This formula has worked since head coach Jim Harbaugh arrived from Stanford, so there's no reason to stray away from what has worked.

Travis Chan is a native of the Bay Area and a lifelong fan of the San Francisco 49ers.

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