NFL Game Preview - Broncos v 49ers

 
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14
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Denver 0 0 7 7 14
San Francisco 3 17 0 0 20
20
1:05 PM PT2:05 PM MT3:05 PM CT4:05 PM ET21:05 GMT5:05 2:05 PM MST4:05 PM EST3:05 PM CT1:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:� , December 9, 2018
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California  Weather: 54°, Overcast  Attendance: 69,449

Broncos continue playoff push against 49ers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers

  1. Including the 49ers' 55-10 victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV, these teams have a 7-7 all-time record against each other. The Broncos took the last meeting, 42-17 at home in 2014, but have dropped three of their last four visits to San Francisco.
  2. Denver posted its third consecutive win with a 24-10 victory in Cincinnati last week. This is the Broncos' longest winning streak in a single season since winning four in a row to open the 2016 season after winning each of their final five (including the playoffs) in 2015.
  3. The 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention with a 43-16 loss in Seattle last week, the most points they have allowed since Week 6, 2016 (45 at Buffalo). San Francisco has now lost double-digit games in four consecutive seasons, the longest such streak in franchise history.
  4. San Francisco has five takeaways this year, the fewest by any team through 12 games of a season since 1950, and has an NFL-worst -20 turnover margin. Denver has nine takeaways and one giveaway during its three-game win streak, and its +8 turnover margin since Week 11 leads the NFL.
  5. Phillip Lindsay rushed for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns last week, joining Mike Anderson and Clinton Portis as the only Bronco rookies with 150+ rushing yards and 2+ rushing TD in a game. He is the third rookie to have such a game since 2015, along with Leonard Fournette and David Johnson.
  6. Nick Mullens passed for a career-high 414 yards and two touchdowns last week, with both scores and 129 of the yards going to Dante Pettis. It is the most single-game receiving yards by a 49er rookie since Jerry Rice had 241 on December 9, 1985.
Team Comparison

Denver
 
San Francisco
23.0 Points 21.3
249.4 Pass Yds 259.8
132.5 Rush Yds 129.2
21 Takeaways 5

The Denver Broncos are trying to keep pace in the AFC playoff race while scrambling to find replacements for two injured players ahead of their game Sunday against the host San Francisco 49ers.

The Broncos (6-6) lost veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. Harris is expected to miss at least a month after breaking his right fibula in last Sunday's win at Cincinnati, and Sanders suffered a torn Achilles tendon while running a route in practice Wednesday. He was placed on injured reserve later that day.

The Broncos, who will be seeking to extend their winning streak to four games to stay in the thick of the wild-card hunt, are leaning on youthful replacements. Isaac Yiadom is expected to fill in for Harris, joining Bradley Roby at the corners. Yiadom, a third-round pick out of Boston College, has already seen increased playing time in the last five weeks.

"Any time you get an injury in this league, it's tough," Broncos quarterback Case Keenum said. "But it's next man up, and I've said it before, and I know it's cliche. I'm a product of somebody getting a chance when somebody gets injured. It could be a great start for somebody's career, one of these young receivers who we trust.

"They've been working a long time, Court (Courtland Sutton), DaeSean (Hamilton), Tim Patrick, all of those guys. What a great opportunity for those guys, depending on what's at stake here."

The 49ers (2-10), meanwhile, will be relying on players who began the season as third stringers in key positions.

While San Francisco waits for injured Jimmmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon to return from knee injuries next season, Nick Mullens and Jeff Wilson Jr. will stand in.

The 49ers also have the NFC's seventh leading rusher, Matt Breida with 744 yards, but he is out this week.

Mullens, undrafted out of Southern Mississippi last year, showed he belongs with the 49ers or elsewhere next year. His 414 passing yards at Seattle in Week 13 were the most for a 49ers player in 14 years.

It was his second impressive outing in four starts. He led the 49ers to one of their two victories in Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders.

Wilson burst onto the scene in Seattle, running head first into defenders so often you'd have thought he was auditioning to play strong safety for the Seahawks. He came away with 134 total yards on 23 touches (15 rushes, eight receptions) . He also came away with a bruised foot some say was inevitable given his wrecking-ball style.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked this week if he or his staff had approached Wilson about downshifting a notch or two for self-preservation.

"No," Shanahan said. "That's his style. That's what got him an opportunity in this league. That's what he does best. That's why he's going to make it.

"I hope he doesn't lose that, for his and our sakes. He runs hard and that's what he does good. Hopefully, we can keep him healthy and he keeps getting better and better."

The 49ers are hoping to get some help on offense with the return of wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. Shanahan indicated that Goodwin won't just walk bck into a starting spot after a two-game absense for personal issues.

"We'll see. I'm just happy that he's doing better, good enough to be back in the building," Shanahan said. "I just got to see him a little bit in meetings today, so we'll see him out at practice today and see where he's at, how he looks, and we'll decide as the week goes."

Updated December 6, 2018

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