The 49ers came off their bye week with a 22-16 win over the Chargers where they pitched a second-half shutout for the second consecutive contest. A victory was important for San Francisco, but it wasn’t dominant enough to move them up in the USA TODAY NFL power rankings. They stayed put at No. 8 while a handful of teams above them shuffled.
It was an odd game for the 49ers from a standpoint of placing them in the NFL’s hierarchy. They posted just 22 points and 5.0 yards per play, but it was an overall good outing against a banged up Chargers squad.
The next few games feel like an inflection point for San Francisco.
They’re definitely inside the top 10, but there are questions they’re going to have to answer to climb above the seven teams ahead of them. It’s clear their ceiling is still high, but injuries and early-season slip ups have kept them from touching that ceiling.
With expectations rising, they’ll need to break out at some point soon with a handful of dominant outings against teams below them in the standings and in the power rankings. If they’re going to establish themselves as proven Super Bowl contenders, it’s going to mean hitting a level that leaves no doubt about whether they’re as good or better than the likes of the three NFC teams ahead of them – the Cowboys, Vikings and Eagles.
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The #49ers made a swap at QB and WR on the practice squad.

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