NFC West Power Rankings: Week Five

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4 – San Francisco 49ers, 1-4 (Last Week: 4)

Oct 11, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no rhyme or reason to the San Francisco 49ers right now. Consistency is not in their vocabulary, and doesn’t look like it will be any time soon.

The 49ers had a legitimate, tangible chance to win in week five against the New York Giants. Trailing 23-20 late in the fourth quarter, quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers on what should have been the game-winning, seven-play, 80-yard drive. He threw two big completions, one worth 25 yards to Torrey Smith, and the second 26 yards to Anquan Boldin, before Carlos Hyde took over.

Hyde gained nine yards, and then gained 19 more to get down to New York’s two-yard line. Three plays and one defensive penalty later, Hyde punched it in to put San Francisco up 27-23. At that point, all the defense had to do was keep the Giants out of the endzone.

Instead, Eli Manning led New York on an eight-play, 82-yard scoring drive in a minute and 24 seconds, capped off with the game-winning strike to Larry Donnell in the endzone with 21 ticks left. Manning completed four of six attempts on the final drive, and was aided by a big defensive pass interference penalty by Kenneth Acker.

Kaepernick quieted his critics for the most part, leading the 49ers on a comeback that was eventually thwarted by his suspect defense. Kaepernick may be a problem, but there are much, much bigger problems the 49ers have to worry about.

Next week, the 49ers take on a team that is sinking fast, their adversaries from Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams are on a downward trajectory, but this game could be a jumping point. Someone has to take advantage.

Next: Number Three