Broncos vs. 49ers: Streaming Info and Game Preview
The Denver Broncos look to keep their playoff hopes alive against the San Franciso 49ers in a key road tilt at Levi’s Stadium.
The Denver Broncos are living the high life for the first time this season. Perhaps head coach Vance Joseph and vice president of football operations John Elway aren’t that dumb after all. The Broncos did something they had not done in almost two full years Sunday, win a road game in the ignominious (as far as the Broncos are concerned) 11:00 am MST broadcast window.
In so doing, they really crippled the Cincinnati Bengals’ playoff chances. The win was a Pyrrhic victory in many ways as star cornerback Chris Harris was lost for the short term.
To compensate for this, the Broncos have signed free agent cornerback Jamar Taylor. Our illustrious blog boss, Sayre Bedinger, has more information on his signing.
Additionally, star receiver Emmanuel Sanders (75 touches, 921 scrimmage yards, 5 total touchdowns) tore his Achilles on Wednesday at practice. The Broncos swiftly acted, by acquiring free agent receive Andre Holmes. Again, Bedinger has insights on this acquisition.
Anyway, the point is that when things go sour, the Broncos are swift to be proactive. This gives them the best chance to succeed. This is what gives them a good chance to keep their 3-game winning streak intact as they visit Santa Clara, Calif. to take on the San Francisco 49ers.
Life in the NFL is much like life in general for any of us. Adversity strikes everyone. Therefore, the Broncos are effectively doing the best they can to mollify their problems.
I do appreciate the thoughts of Ronnie Kohrt, the executive producer of Mile High Sports on the subject: (he spoke this in the context of the Jaguars’ horrendous performance against Tennessee Thursday)
I realize that it’s not fashionable to lionize Joseph in Broncos Country but he’s doing the best he can. There has been much debate this week (much of it is specious in my humble opinion) concerning whether 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan should still have been the choice in Denver over Joseph.
The 49ers and Broncos have each suffered significant injuries and yet, somehow, the Broncos are in the thick of the AFC wild card race and 49ers fans are forced to wait until next year.
Joseph will probably never receive the recognition he deserves in Broncos Country and that’s just fine. The vapid crowd never appreciates a sincere effort to succeed. There is much superficiality in the world and Twitter is reflecive of that.
The Broncos are 7-7 all-time against the 49ers and 3-4 as the road team. The last time the Broncos won as the road team against San Francisco was in 2002, when I was doing labors in Tucson, away from conventional society.
Of course, the Broncos’ greatest win in modern times, occurred at Levi’s Stadium, in Super Bowl 50 to conclude the 2015 season with a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Therefore, it’s an environment the Broncos should feel comfortable in if nothing else.
With Sanders’ injury, the Broncos will turn more to receiver Courtland Sutton (an NFL-best 19.9 yards per reception) as well as fellow rookies, tailbacks Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman.
This tremendous triumvirate has combined for 2,109 yards from scrimmage in 2018.
In the words of longtime ESPN commentator Chris Berman, “since the merger,” (1970-present) that is the third-most combined scrimmage yards for a trio of rookies. The only ones to surpass this were the 1999 Colts (Edgerrin James, Terrence Wilkins, Paul Shields) and the 1983 Rams (Eric Dickerson, Otis Grant, Henry Ellard). That’s some pretty elite company.
Anyway, the 49ers are mediocre to abysmal in every statistical category, except net rushing yards per game.
San Francisco is tied for 7th in the NFL wih 129.2 rushing yards per game. This is inferior to the Broncos’ net rushing output per game as they are 5th in the NFL at 132.5 rushing yards per game.
The 49ers’ top tailback is Matt Breida (953 scrimmage yards, 5 total touchdowns). Other standouts on the San Francisco offense include tight end George Kittle (62 rec, 893 yards, 3 TD’s) and fullbak Kyle Juzczyk (306 scrimmage yards, 1 rushing touchdown). With third-string signal-caller Nick Mullens in, the passing offense has struggled, as it is 21st in the NFL (234.1 yards per game).
The Broncos are getting quality play from signal-caller Case Keenum (2,953 yards, 14 TD’s/10 INT’s) who has not thrown an interception since October 28 at Kansas City.
Lindsay (1,126 scrimmage yards, 9 total TD’s) and Freeman (425 scrimmae yards, 5 total TD’s) help bolster the Broncos’ running game and even resereve tailback Devontae Booker made some big plays to help pull out the win over the Bengals.
The Broncos did turn the ball over once against Cincinnati but in their three-game winning streak, Denver is +8 (9-1) in turnover margin. San Francisco is -20 in turnover margin, dead last in the NFL.
My analysis is succinct and sounds like a broken record. If the Broncos win the turnover battle, they should win this one going away. I watched the 49ers-Seahawks game last Sunday and San Francisco honestly looked like a broken team.
Now, the 49ers have played some competitve games at home, but are still only 2-3 at Levi’s Stadium. If the Broncos get down to business, I see this as a game they should win comfortably.
That’s up to them. I cover high school basketball tournaments for my real job and if teams come out flat, it’s curtains for them. This includes teams comprised of really talented young men and women.
As the cliche goes, “that’s why they play the game.” If the Broncos truly have what it takes to be a playoff-caliber team, they’ll seize control just as they did in the second half of the Cincinnati game.
Defensively, outside linebacker Von Miller (12.5 sacks, 2nd most in the NFL) and his protege, fellow outside linebacker, rookie Bradley Chubb (10.5 sacks, tied for 10th most in the NFL) continue to wreak havoc.
If the Broncos can control the game with clean football and running the ball, Denver can set up a propitoius environment for Miller and Chubb to control the game late.
Speaking of Chubb, he only needs 1.5 sacks to tie Miller for the most sacks for a rookie in Broncos history.
Lindsay only needs 63 rushing yards to reach 1,000 yards on the ground. If he can do so, he would be only the third undrafted rookie to acheive this distinction, joining Dominic Rhodes of the Colts in 2001 and LeGarrette Blount of the Buccaneers in 2010.
Miller currently has 102.5 total sacks in his career, including the postseason. With one more sack, he ties former Broncos star Simon Fletcher for the most sacks in Broncos history.
Sutton (28 rec, 558 yads, 3 TD’s) only needs 72 receiving yards to tie former Broncos star Ricky Nattiel for the fourth-most receiving yards by a Broncos rookie.
Date: Sunday Dec.9, 2018
Start Time: 2:05 pm MST
Location: Levi’s Stadium
TV Info: CBS (506sports.com for listings nationwide)
Announcers: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), James Lofton (analyst)
Thanks to Nicki Jhabvala of the Athletic for this injury report.
All I know is that defensive end Derek Wolfe is Superman.
At Santa Clara, the Broncos-49ers temperature is expected to be 61 degrees Sunday with partly clear skies and no rain. The Broncos “struck gold” as it were.
Anyway, this is your game thread. Tell your friends about us. GO BRONCOS!!!