The San Francisco 49ers are the best team in the NFL. That much is clear after a Sunday afternoon where they went on the road and beat the New Orleans Saints 48-46 in the NFL's Game of the Year thus far.
The 49ers were coming off a 20-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens where their offense showed more cracks than a Greenlandic glacier. Sunday was a complete turnaround that showed San Francisco can do more than any other team in the NFL and is more complete than any squad out there.
After gaining just 331 yards, and going 4-for-12 on third down against the Ravens, Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers' offense racked up 516 yards and went 6-for-12 on third against the Saints. They averaged 8.2 yards per play and only turned the ball over once.
All year the focus has been on San Francisco's defense, particularly its front seven and the way it can pressure opposing quarterbacks. Well, on Sunday the 49ers had no sacks and only hit Drew Brees three times. The defense surrendered 46 points and 465 yards, so this week it was the offense's turn to step up and pick up the other side of the ball.
Going on the road and winning in New Orleans is never easy and the 49ers got a serious battle from the Saints. But San Francisco's ability to maintain its composure and battle back repeatedly, especially on the final, game-winning drive, was impressive.
The 49ers entered Week 14 with the NFL's stingiest defense, allowing just 250.9 yards per game. The offense isn't bad either, ranking sixth in yards per game (378.0), while the rushing offense ranks second (148.0 yards per game) and the passing offense is 16th (230.0 yards per game). That's some incredible balance.
While Garoppolo isn't yet an elite quarterback, he's been good enough to win games. Oh, and they have George Kittle, who is more machine than man at this point.
The 49ers are 11-2 after their big win on Sunday. Their only losses came at home against the Seattle Seahawks (10-2) and on the road against the Ravens (11-2). Both of those teams have an argument as the best team in the league, but after Sunday it's clear the 49ers have more to them and boast the most impressive resume.