The 49ers dropped their third consecutive game in Week 8, and subsequently dropped in the USA TODAY NFL power rankings for the second consecutive week.
San Francisco still sits in the top five despite its struggles. They’ve built up enough equity over the last couple years to get the benefit of the doubt when they scuffle like they have the last three weeks. Especially since they were a missed field goal away from winning in Cleveland and were one or two bounces of the ball away from winning in Minnesota.
The 49ers’ inability to pull of a fourth-quarter comeback ultimately doomed them in all three contests, and Nate Davis of USA TODAY notes as much in his rankings:
Here’s an insane stat about this club. Since HC Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017, San Francisco is 0-37 when trailing by eight or more points in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps the most concerning thing for San Francisco has been its defense’s inability to get stops and overcome a couple mistakes from quarterback Brock Purdy. Defense is supposed to be the 49ers’ bread and butter, but they haven’t been good the last three games.
For now the 49ers stay in the top five, but if they continue to struggle out of the bye week we could see a pretty dramatic drop in the power rankings and, more importantly for them, the standings.