2018 NFL Power Rankings: Philadelphia Eagles begin preseason on top

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

16. San Francisco 49ers

Unlike the Raiders last season, the San Francisco 49ers hope they can handle the pressure of being a potential sleeper contender in the NFC after ending last year on an extremely high note by winning each of their final five games. Coincidentally, all five of those wins came once Jimmy Garoppolo took over the starting job under center, and even though the 49ers seem like they’re taking a huge risk with his massive contract, if they didn’t do it, another team would have been willing to do so.

Garoppolo has spent years waiting for an opportunity to show off his skills as a starting quarterback, and now that he’s going to be one of the highest paid in the league, it’s up to him to prove he’s the right man for the job in San Francisco. Playing in the same division as the Los Angeles Rams is no easy task, but many believe if there’s one team capable of taking down the NFC West champions, it’s the 49ers.

Whether that ends up happening will fall on the shoulders of Garoppolo, and the rest of San Francisco’s offense. It was one thing to end 2017 on a high note, but now comes the challenge for the 49ers of starting off strong in September.