Preseason Monday Night Football: 49ers vs Broncos

Denver Broncos

49ers and Broncos Both Have High Expectations

The San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos are set to do battle in a preseason edition of ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The playoff hopefuls will clash at Broncos Stadium at Mile High tonight.

TV: 8 PM ET, ESPN.  LINE: 49ers/Broncos PK  O/U: 40.5.

Things started out with a lot of hope for the San Francisco 49ers last year. Then the train derailed. They lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Now they have him back and they are hoping that propels them to the playoffs. they are thinking division title even though they have the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West with them. They believe they can compete. In today’s NFL where almost every team is a player or two away from success anything is possible.

The Denver Broncos have a new defensive-minded head coach and a quarterback with Super Bowl credentials. They continue their quest to get back to the Super Bowl. They may have the elements in place, but they also have a championship caliber team to deal with in the AFC West. The Kansas City Chiefs are the cream of the crop until proven otherwise. The Broncos will have to make a huge leap to unseat the Chiefs.

This, That, and a Dart Throw

San Francisco ran into a rather indifferent Dallas team last week and came out on the long end of a 17-9 game. C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens each threw a touchdown pass and got intercepted once. Kyle Shanahan will start Jimmy Garoppolo tonight as he’ll see game action for the first time since his ACL injury in Week 3 last season. He will play a couple of series. He may struggle, or he may not. Wednesday at practice he threw interceptions on five consecutive plays.

Shanahan was very impressed with his young receivers last week. That includes third-round pick Jalen Hurd, who caught a Mullens pass and hammered his way into the end zone. Hurd is 6-5 and about 225 pounds. He played running back at Tennessee and switched to wide receiver at Baylor. He seems to have the versatility to play either of those positions and will create some matchup problems at tight end. Then there’s Deebo Samuel, who had two catches and 61 yards. He was the third wide receiver drafted. Then there’s speedy Dante Pettis who was last year’s second-round pick. He showed some dynamic flashes when healthy as he averaged 17.3 yards per catch. This group is deep enough that Kendrick Bourne, who led all the wideouts with 42 receptions last year, may not even make the 53-man roster. 

Last week against the Seahawks, rookie Drew Lock had an good experience for the Broncos. He went 17-for-28 for 180 yards and an interception. He was sacked three times. Joe Flacco is the projected starter, and Denver wouldn’t have brought him in otherwise. He got into last week’s game against Seattle, which was a 22-14 loss. He stayed for one series which resulted in a field goal. He said that limited action in the preseason is not going to have a big effect. “Listen, I am going to feel comfortable Week One,” Flacco said. “I’ve played in plenty of games throughout my career.” Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is impressed with Flacco’s sharpness. “He threw some dimes. He’s been throwing dimes… So, the chemistry is coming. Everything is looking good,” said Sanders after a recent practice.

It’s possible that Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello has a little insight on what the 49ers defense can do. He was the quarterback’s coach with San Francisco last season. Still, he felt that in the first joint practice between these teams, his unit was “very choppy” because of mistakes and the 49ers’ intensity. Denver free safety Justin Simmons is said to have made at least six interceptions in practices thus far.

The Dart Throw: 49ers 20, Broncos 13

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Monday Night Football Trends

Denver Broncos Trends
  • Trend Under is 4-1 in Broncos last 5 games as a home underdog of 3.5-10.0. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 5-0 in Broncos last 5 games as a home underdog. 100.00% (5) 0|5 0
  • Over is 8-2-1 in Broncos last 11 games as a home favorite of 10.5 or greater. 80.00% (11) 8|2 1
  • Under is 4-0 in Broncos last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
San Francisco 49ers Trends
  • Trend Under is 6-2 in 49ers last 8 games as a road favorite. Hit % 75.00% (8) O/U 2|6 Push 0 W/L
  • Over is 5-2 in 49ers last 7 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. 71.40% (7) 5|2 0
  • Over is 7-3 in 49ers last 10 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater. 70.00% (10) 7|3 0
  • Under is 14-6 in 49ers last 20 games as a road favorite of 3.5-10.0. 70.00% (20) 6|14 0

Stats Brought to you by Scores & Stats

Next up:
Kansas City at Baltimore Tuesday, August 20

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