49ersHub Picks: Who Do We Think Will Win Against Denver?
Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Week 13 is finally here! Last week saw some crazy games happening around the league, and even the Thursday game got pretty crazy! This week the 49ers have a tough challenge with the Denver Broncos! How do we think the game will go? Read on and find out!
Last week went just as expected. This week might be a little closer with the return of Marquise Goodwin and the loss of Emmanuel Sanders and Chris Harris, but the Broncos are still fighting for a playoff spot and have one of the best pair of pass rushers in the NFL. I'm going with Denver, but bet the under.
PREDICTION: Denver 21, San Francisco 10
Denver huh? The Broncos leave the “Mile High City” to travel down to sea level to take on the 49ers this week. Both teams have injury concerns coming into Sunday, 49ers running back Matt Brieda has been limited this week with an ankle injury that he reaggravated during warm-ups in Seattle. Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders tore his achilles this week at practice and is lost for the remainder of the season. On a positive note Marquis Goodwin is expected back and should be suiting up this weekend after missing the last two weeks with a personal issue. Goodwin’s return will add a new element to the offense with the emergence of Dante Pettis during the last two weeks. But the question remains the same: will the 49ers defense show up and put the clamps on Denver’s running game? Denver has the seventh best rushing attack in the NFL while averaging 132.5 yards per game. Overall, I don’t think the 49ers pull this out and eventually fall to 2-11 on the season. The positive for fans and the 49ers is we’ll get a close look at Denver linebackers Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett, both of whom may be free agents this offseason and could be targets for the team as edge rushers.
PREDICTION: Broncos 24 49ers 17
"Why do you doubt the 49ers' defense?"
"Because," said Scrooge, "a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them end up on injured reserve. They don't communicate and always seem to be in the wrong defense to stop a big play."
"Man of the football mind!" replied the Ghost, "do you believe in Shanahan and Saleh or not?"
"I do," said Scrooge. "Kind of. But why do the same failures continue and why must the injuries come to the 49ers? They cannot hold a lead! They cannot score points!"
"A lack of talent," the Ghost returned, "in the secondary and no edge rusher. Saleh is doomed no matter what defense he calls - oh woe is me! - and probably lose his job in a few weeks!"
"But what about this Sunday against Denver?" said Scrooge, trembling. "Tell me Spirit. Who will win?"
"The 49ers will not beat Denver," replied the Ghost.
Scrooge trembled more and more.
"The team will jump out to a 13-point lead early," pursued the Ghost, "But the weight and length of the loser chain cannot be removed. The defense will let up a big play and allow another 150-yards rushing."
PREDICTION: Denver 24 San Francisco 17
This space is where you will usually find astute breakdowns of how the 49ers matchup against this week’s opponent; for instance, I could point out that the Broncos bring the 10th worst run defense in the NFL to Levi’s Stadium, and the 49ers should have some success running the ball but after 13 weeks there is not much left to cover.
PREDICTION: Broncos 28 49ers 17
Bucking Broncos, early in the year I would have said the 49ers would have rode this horse to victory. But alas that will not be the case. The 49ers have played okay with Mullens as the starter, but his lack of experience is showing the team isn't good enough to elevate the young quarterback. I do think he has earned the right to challenge the backup role for the handsome one though.
PREDICTION: Broncos win 24-21
Due to a few truths we know about the Broncos, I think they will prevail this week against our beloved 49ers. First, Denver has a bit of confidence and added motivation to win out the rest of the season. They’ve just come off a three-game win streak, have been close to beating the Rams, Texans and Chiefs (two times), and they know that if the Chargers falter down the stretch they may have a chance to make it into the post season. Second, the 49ers are not as talented a team overall as Denver. So, even if the 49ers get off to a quick start in Week 14’s game, it’s likely that Denver could make up the difference, similar to how other better teams have won close ones against San Francisco this year. Third, that Broncos defense will likely put too much pressure on Nick Mullens for the third-string quarterback to be effective. With a lot of time and ease, Mullens has shown he can be good, but he’s still unproven. And after witnessing how Denver absolutely destroyed rookie quarterback Josh Rosen in October (21-of-39, 194 yards, three interceptions, two lost fumbles, sacked six times, quarterback rating of 44.2), I worry about Mullens in this one. What will likely make Sunday’s contest closer than it could be for Denver is the fact that they will be missing both wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and corner back Chris Harris due to injuries.
PREDICTION: Denver 27, San Francisco 17
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