Wait, what? 49ers rise a spot in power rankings with loss to Bengals

A weekly examination of the 49ers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Rank: 30| Last Week: 31

Comment: As much as the San Francisco 49ers insist on flirting with being rated the worst team in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans still exist in the minds of our ESPN NFL power ranking voters.

Sure, the Browns thumped the Niners two weeks ago, and the Niners just flopped at home in front of some of their greatest Super Bowl heroes -- think Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, etc. -- with a 24-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in front of an embarrassingly sparse Levi’s Stadium crowd.

But the 49ers were actually rewarded for their, ahem, efforts, moving up a spot in our power rankings, from No. 31 to No. 30.

But it’s not all negative for the Faithful, right? RIGHT?!?

So with two games left in the season and the Niners flirting with scoring their fewest points in a season since the NFL went to 16 games in 1978 (they have scored 202 points in 14 games thus far and the franchise record for fewest in 16 games is the 219 they scored in 1978 and 2007), let’s look at some positives from their first regular-season home loss to the Bengals since 1974. Oh, and the Niners currently have the No. 5 overall draft pick, too.

  • With eight catches, Anquan Boldin now has 999 receptions in his career, for 13,097 yards and 73 touchdowns, and he will become the 13th member of the 1,000-catch club with his next catch.

  • Nose tackle Ian Williams had his first career fumble recovery and his first sack of the season, the second of his career.

  • Fullback Bruce Miller had his first career rushing touchdown.

  • And defensive backs Jimmie Ward and Eric Reid also had their first career sacks. Ward took down his former Pop Warner league teammate in AJ McCarron in the process.