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49ers check in at No. 2 in PFT’s preseason power rankings

St. Louis Rams v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks finished last season as the clear cut two best teams in football.

In our opinion, they still are.

The 49ers have made the NFC Championship game in each of the last three seasons with a Super Bowl appearance two years ago. While some of the pieces have changed since then, the 49ers still remain one of the most talented teams in the league.

However, veterans such as Frank Gore, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis aren’t getting any younger. San Francisco has also struggled to find many contributors through the draft despite a plethora of picks over the last couple seasons with last year’s first-round pick Eric Reid being one of the few exceptions.

NaVorro Bowman is hurt, Aldon Smith could be suspended and the 49ers have some issues at cornerback as well.

But the 49ers offense could be the best its been under Colin Kaepernick’s direction with improved talent at the receiver position.

Our full 49ers preview is located here. Tell us in the poll below if you feel the 49ers deserve the ranking we gave them heading into the season.

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32 Responses to “49ers check in at No. 2 in PFT’s preseason power rankings”
  1. 6ball says: Jul 22, 2014 9:13 AM

    .
    Seattle is still the heavyweight champion, however the 49ers have two opportunities to change that.
    .

  2. irishgary says: Jul 22, 2014 9:39 AM

    Interesting.

    A.) 49ers are on the decline and will struggle to beat The Cardinals out for a playoff spot.

    B.) no one repeats as Super Bowl winners, so eliminate the #1 Seahawks

    Flawed rating system.

  3. unbridledsexy says: Jul 22, 2014 9:48 AM

    As a hawks fan this seems right. Everyone knows the real Super Bowl last year was the fantastic NFC championship game. This Hawks/Niners games are gonna be good for a long while.

  4. shatho1 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:07 AM

    what a surprise so now we all know the seabiscuits are #1 in the pft preseason power rankings

  5. joecool16280 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:09 AM

    It all comes down to coming through in high pressure situations for Keap. The inside the ten play calling needs to improve as well.

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 22, 2014 10:14 AM

    When does #1 get released?

  7. bigd7387 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM

    Way to high. Top 10 I could agree with but not top 2 or even top 5. Currently Kaepernick is no better than Mark Sanchez since he hasn’t gotten them over the hump yet. Seahawks, Packers, Broncos, Pats, Colts are 5 teams off the bat that I would consider being ahead of the 49ers at this point and that isn’t even counting the normal teams usually up there that may have had a down year last year. To high in my opinion. I don’t see the 49er’s as a top 2 team in just the NFC let alone the NFL.

  8. bornahawker says: Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM

    49ers are second to Seattle by the thinnest of margins.
    Go Hawks!

  9. athwartships says: Jul 22, 2014 10:19 AM

    Way too high. You’re high to put them higher than the mile high or even the antiquated pats.

  10. athwartships says: Jul 22, 2014 10:20 AM

    You do realize the short article below the headline you wrote rings almost like a counter argument for choosing them as #2 right?

  11. sfniners4life says: Jul 22, 2014 10:22 AM

    There be number 1 by the end of this season. Kaep has progressed each game he played and really expect more out of his arm and less from legs. Last year was weak at wr and with a heathly Crabtree addiction of Stevie and Ellington to go along boldin. Def is going have to step up in secondary but finally got the offense up to pair with our def.

  12. tennesseeoilers says: Jul 22, 2014 10:33 AM

    The question is, can that great defense carry them so far three years in a row? … Doubtful. The 49ers would have one, possibly two recent championships, if they hadn’t opted to bench and then get rid of their only NFL caliber quarterback.

  13. acromartieismydad says: Jul 22, 2014 11:22 AM

    bigd7387 says:
    Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM
    Way to high. Top 10 I could agree with but not top 2 or even top 5. Currently Kaepernick is no better than Mark Sanchez since he hasn’t gotten them over the hump yet. Seahawks, Packers, Broncos, Pats, Colts are 5 teams off the bat that I would consider being ahead of the 49ers at this point and that isn’t even counting the normal teams usually up there that may have had a down year last year. To high in my opinion. I don’t see the 49er’s as a top 2 team in just the NFC let alone the NFL.

    RE: I’m a die hard Hawks fan and gotta say your way off base. I hate em, but the SF is more than legit and would have pummeled Denver is the SB too. Right now it’s SEA/SF and a long distance to everyone else.

  14. ayyyjayyy says: Jul 22, 2014 11:29 AM

    I think Kaep’s running ability is key to beating the hawks. In the first half of the nfccg, he ran all over the place. But the hawks adjusted in the second half, daring him to throw. They couldn’t adjust to the hawks adjustment and fell into the LOB’s trap by doing so underneath routes. I know Crabtree wasn’t 100% but I wished they could have gotten more creative like getting Patton or hunter more involved.

  15. coachwolf49 says: Jul 22, 2014 11:47 AM

    It’s KAP, fans, not Kaep or Keap. Geezzzz! Don’t believe me? Visit his Twitter account and he’ll clear it up for you. As to ratings, Seattle’s perch at the top is almost over. One and done.

  16. seahonky says: Jul 22, 2014 12:00 PM

    Guess who is number one? That’s right. Seattle Seahawks! Super Bowl Champs! I bet Norcalfemia and PEDpoet wish they could be part of the 12’s

  17. joe2jerry says: Jul 22, 2014 12:02 PM

    I agree with the ranking only because the champs each year are still the champs until someone beats them. I do worry a little about the Niner secondary as well. It’s going to be fun to watch with injuries and referees splitting hairs at each home stadium being the difference between #1 and #2 this year.

  18. DrSteveBrule says: Jul 22, 2014 12:50 PM

    I wonder if playing in the new stadium will have any affect on the Niners?

  19. tommyribs says: Jul 22, 2014 12:58 PM

    They will miss the playoffs this year.

    Their Window, isn’t closing, it is closed.

  20. allidoiswin55 says: Jul 22, 2014 1:02 PM

    sfniners4life- what are you on crack Kaep has progressed every game??? Kaep was statistically one of the worst qbS last year he isnt clutch and can not manage a game or gameplan . Stats show this not your hope based on his ability . Kaep has a LONG way to go to even be above average as a passer , and don’t give me the injury crap he plays behind the best OLine of the past 3-4 years and was only missing 1 starting caliber wr . For as much as people hate to give Russell Wilson credit he did much much more while playing nearly have a season without his 2-3 of his best linemen (an all pro C and pro bowl LT) and both his top 2 WRs one of which might single handedly be Tr most explosive football player in the NFL just always hurt bc he’s reckless (Harvin)

    Good qbs make wrs look even better , Kaep struggles passing and without elite
    Wrs he is absolutely abysmal as a passer and you can’t tell me your eye doesn’t say this bc yes sometimes stats lie but in Kaeps case it’s completely accurate . He’s a top tier elite talent and is freakishly athletic but c’mon man you need some perspective he needs to take major strides this year or niners will regress bc of him specifically.

    This year their offense on paper looks great if their not great it’s Kaep fault at this point this is his 4th season now it’s now or never been patient enough with him .

  21. senoreno says: Jul 22, 2014 1:12 PM

    It’s very rare that a rookie will come in and replace a vet..A few of our starters may be a bit aged, however our depth is incredibly young. Plus why replace gore or cowboy when they’ve maintained a high level of play..when they show they don’t have it anynore, we have young guys to step in.

  22. bbwasright says: Jul 22, 2014 1:40 PM

    hmmmm, I’m not even sure the 49ers are the #2 team in the NFC (or possibly even the NFC West). They are top 10, but they wouldn’t have a chance against the Patriots, and probably not the Broncos either. On the NFC side, the Cardinals have a lot of talent, the Saints are a team with more talent and better coaching, and the Packers should be better that the 49ers this year.

  23. tomebs says: Jul 22, 2014 1:45 PM

    No surprise here. SF should be there as should Seattle be at #1. SF needs to win the Super Bowl soon. Some of their key players are not getting any younger and free agency is only going to hurt them more and more as they are forced to choose who they will pay high salaries to keep. The top 6-7 will definitely have more to say this year so don’t believe for one minute that this is a two horse race. The beauty that is the NFL is the ability for change to happen rapidly.

  24. rick359 says: Jul 22, 2014 1:56 PM

    As long as Colin Kaepernick is their QB and Harhaugh their coach this team will not win the big game.

  25. omeimontis says: Jul 22, 2014 2:02 PM

    In reality, the Niners have drafted very well since Harbaugh became coach in the same year that Baalke became the GM. Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith were the first two picks under Baalke/Harbaugh, and both are potentially headed to the Hall of Fame. This year’s draft looks like a good one too, because players like Chris Borland, Marcus Martin, Jimmie Ward, Carolos Hyde and Bruce Ellington are likely to become starters in the near future, if not this year. The team has traded well too, getting Jonathan Martin and Stevie Johnson, not to mention Anquan Boldin last year, for low round picks. OTOH, the much celebrated Seattle front office had an awful draft, and they lost a bunch of starters due to salary cap constraints. The Niners are a more talented team this year than the Seahawks, but they will have to show it on the field. Before the season starts, we really don’t know how teams will perform. The preseason provides a glimpse but the proof comes in the first game of the year. Niners start the season playing the Cowboys, and Seattle will play Green Bay. It is fair to say that the Niners could have a one game lead over Seattle after the first game.

  26. dacktle49 says: Jul 22, 2014 2:45 PM

    bbwasright says:
    Jul 22, 2014 1:40 PM
    hmmmm, I’m not even sure the 49ers are the #2 team in the NFC (or possibly even the NFC West). They are top 10, but they wouldn’t have a chance against the Patriots, and probably not the Broncos either. On the NFC side, the Cardinals have a lot of talent, the Saints are a team with more talent and better coaching, and the Packers should be better that the 49ers this year.
    ————–

    Absolutely hilarious thank you for that one.. The best part about it is that you truly believe your own assessment.

  27. pw1265 says: Jul 22, 2014 5:19 PM

    number 2???? lmao, that is funny!! get ready for a fast fall whiner fans!

  28. rjohns259 says: Jul 22, 2014 6:09 PM

    As a niners fan, I’m not ready to fight for the #1 spot yet. Unless Kaep can prove he can play mistake-free football in Seattle, the Seahawks have the advantage overall. The niners offense is more dangerous than Seattle’s, but the Seahawks have consistency and a stronger defense. SF did little to address their CB issues in the offseason, so I’m curious to see how that affects them this coming year. Still, if you are arguing anyone else for 1 & 2, you are wrong. SF barely lost in Seattle for the title of best NFL team, while Denver got massacred on neutral grounds.

  29. jakefodor says: Jul 22, 2014 6:39 PM

    Definitely overrated, and this is coming from a 17 year season ticket holder.

    We did go 12-4 last season, but only 2 of those 12 wins came against playoff teams. And both of those 2 wins was by less than a score. Same thing with our playoff games, we barely won those. Talking about barely, if it wasn’t a last minute win in week 17 against a horrible ATL team and an OT win against ARZ in week 18…we wouldn’t of been in playoffs.

    Our lucks over and our team got worse. While trying to fix our offensive, we neglected our defense this year, especially at cornerback. Brock who was 5th on our depth chart last year, is our #1 guy this year. What’s even more scary is in ’11 NFC champtionship he blew it as Eli Manning picked him apart, ’12 he got burned for for 109 TD run in Super Bowl, ’13 he decided he didn’t want to tackle Lynch on what was the game winning TD run.

  30. snoqualmkanem says: Jul 22, 2014 8:41 PM

    “It’s KAP, fans, not Kaep or Keap. Geezzzz! Don’t believe me? Visit his Twitter account and he’ll clear it up for you. As to ratings, Seattle’s perch at the top is almost over. One and done.”

    A nickname is a nickname… if people want to refer to him as Kaep that is their choice. Keap seems to be a typo as much as anything..

    Other than that.. why worry about it?

  31. snoqualmkanem says: Jul 22, 2014 9:02 PM

    omeimontis “OTOH, the much celebrated Seattle front office had an awful draft, and they lost a bunch of starters due to salary cap constraints. ”

    Not sure why anybody would think it is an awful draft. They keep saying that every year and Seattle keeps on finding players that produce.

    No starters were lost to salary cap constraints.

    Some were lost because their salary demands exceeded their production… but that isn’t necessarily salary cap related.

    I won’t get into a discussion on SF draft picks.. they haven’t done as well as you would like us to think. Kaep will never be more than a journeyman QB. Aldon Smith will get himself into trouble again at some point over the next 3 years and find himself in real jail, rather than just the work crew for a few months of Monday’s. You may have added receivers but you still lack an effective passer to get the ball to them.

  32. omeimontis says: Jul 23, 2014 6:58 AM

    People badmouth Kap, but they haven’t looked at his numbers. His quarterback rating is among the top 10 in the NFL in 2013, even though he had only 1 receiver, Anquan Boldin, to throw to in the early part of the season. If we look back at the Super Bowl, it wasn’t Kap who lost the game. He led an amazing comeback against a quality Ravens D, even though the Niner D kept giving up big plays to the Ravens offense. Of all the teams Harbaugh had since joining the Niners, the 2014 version is likely the most talented overall. Instead of losing talents, the Niners have added strength to the team. Amazing job Trent Baalke and his assistants have done. Go Niners.

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