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NFL Power Rankings Week 9: San Francisco 49ers Hovering Outside Top Five

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COMMENTARY | The San Francisco 49ers flew across to London and took care of the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 42-10. This game was never really competitive, as the 49ers took a commanding 28-3 lead entering halftime and never looked back.

The usual suspects were responsible for the 49ers' scoring. Despite throwing for just 164 yards, Colin Kaepernick accounted for three total scores (two rushing). Vernon Davis was on the receiving end of his passing touchdown, giving the Maryland product seven scores on the season. Frank Gore chipped in with two touchdowns of his own. For the first time in his illustrious career, Gore scored multiple touchdowns in consecutive games.

Defensively, Patrick Willis and Co. had no problem shutting down the league's worst offense, as they held the Jaguars to just 4.5 yards per play. Linebacker Dan Skuta also returned a fumble for a 47-yard touchdown.

Heading into their Week 9 bye, San Francisco remains one of the top teams in the NFL at 6-2.

With half of the season in the books, check out where the 49ers stand in regard to this week's power rankings:

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

"I'd easily take the 49ers in a neutral field game against the team ranked No. 6, so I'm breaking one of the power rankings' tenets by keep them at No 7. But, the 49ers aren't undefeated, so …"

Schwab has the Kansas City Chiefs ranked sixth, one spot ahead of the 49ers. Even though San Francisco has a very strong chance at defeating the Chiefs in a head-to-head battle, the NFL's lone unbeaten team gets the slight edge in the rankings.

CBSSports.com -- Pat Kirwan -- No. 6 (Last week: No. 6)

"The 49ers run game has been intimidating opponents over the four-game win streak the Niners are on. When a club averages over 180 yards rushing for a month, not many teams will beat them."

Simply put, when the 49ers run with Frank Gore and control the tempo of the game, they win. The ground game eases some of the pressure off of Colin Kaepernick, while San Francisco's defense remains fresh sitting on the sidelines.

Even when Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree return, the offensive gameplan should remain mostly the same.

NFL.com -- Elliot Harrison -- No. 6 (Last week: No. 6)

"Hope everyone who was worried about Colin Kaepernick enjoyed the two rushing touchdowns he put up in London . Kaepernick ran a total of seven times for 54 yards one week after running 11 times for 68; the return of that element should make this offense a viable threat come January. By the way, have you noticed that the Niners have outscored their opponents 174-61 since taking a beating at the hands of the Colts in Week 3?"

Kaepernick is beginning to play towards his strength of being a dual-threat quarterback. After recording just 24 rushing attempts for 150 yards over the last five weeks of the season, Kaepernick appears more decisive and aggressive on the ground. That element of his game will certainly come in handy later in the year.

The 49ers appeared to have learned a lesson from the loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Although San Francisco has played opponents with a combined record of 12-26 since that point, there's a lot of positives to take away from their recent performances.

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

"The 49ers scored a season-high 42 points on Sunday and have scored 31 or more in each of their last five games. It's no coincidence that they are on a five-game winning streak."

San Francisco may have tallied a season-high this past week, however, it was against arguably the worst team in the league.

But when Kaepernick and his offense can score in the 30s, odds are the 49ers will win given their eighth-ranked pass defense. With an improved secondary, opponents face an uphill battle of playing catch-up late in games.

ESPN.com -- No. 6 (Last Week: No. 6)

"Colin Kaepernick posted a career-high 99.8 Total QBR Sunday, the third-highest total since the start of 2006 among quarterbacks with at least 20 action plays."

The third-year signal-caller imposed his will on the Jaguars defense. Playing in a clean pocket for practically the entire game, Kaepernick had no problem surveying the field and hitting his targets. Overall, the entire offense was sharp right from the start, making the job that much easier for the young quarterback.

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