At 6-6, the Denver Broncos need to keep their winning streak going through the rest of their games to have a reasonable shot at powering their way into the AFC playoffs. Fortunately for them, they play a host of teams with losing records with the 2-10 San Francisco 49ers being one of them.
The Mile High Report staff and Brandon Perna are all looking for the Broncos win here in a 30-14 drubbing of the 49ers, but not all of us are seeing blowout in this game. Here is how we expect things to play out individually.
Broncos 26, 49ers 20
The Broncos should be able to handle the 49ers easily, but I’m still not convinced this team can handle anyone easily. The game last week against the Cincinnati Bengals was a close, hard-fought game until the Bengals fumbled it all away with turnovers. I could see a similar situation playing out this week, but instead of fumbling it away the 49ers play the Broncos tough to the very end. - Tim Lynch
Broncos 28, 49ers 12
The Denver Backups whip up on the Niners, 28-12. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
Broncos 28, 49ers 10
Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders could play on crutches and still be the two most talented players for the team by the bay. The injuries just add to the “us against the world” mentality and it should help bring another monster game from Phillip Lindsay and Courtland Sutton. Broncos spank the 49ers 28-10. - Kevin Gillikin
Broncos 24, 49ers 13
Losing Chris Harris and Emmanuel Sanders just days apart was a punch to the gut for the Broncos. But a paper thin Denver secondary helped hold the Bengals to just 10 points even in Harris’s absence last week and Sanders contributed only an unusually low 4 catches for 19 yards to the win. The Broncos are a far better football team with those two excellent players on the field, but they can certainly beat the worst team in the NFL even without them. It’s been the year of the amazing rookies in Denver, and that will continue in San Francisco. - Taylor Kothe
Broncos 23, 49ers 17
It’s a scary thing to have to rely so much on so many rookies. We have Lindsay, Sutton and Chubb. Now we have to add Yiadom and Hamilton and Patrick. That’s A LOT of rookies who are still learning how to play in the NFL. Sure, some are otherworldly like Lindsay, and some are sure to be all-pro’s like Chubb. Others are solid and growing but clearly showing they are rookies in Sutton. And then there are the unknowns in Yiadom and Hamilton and Patrick. Will they shine? Will they go down in flames (Looking at you Yiadom), or will they be what we expect rookies to be and struggle at times and shine at others? All I’m saying is relying on so many rookies at the same time is dangerous and these final four games go from a virtual certainty in the victory column to a 50/50 shot depending on how rookies play. That being said, this M*A*S*H* unit in Denver is matched by an equally devastated M*A*S*H* unit in San Francisco, so really, there’s no excuses for Denver. The Broncos have no excuses to fall to the lowly 49ers. Every injury we have can be matched by them, but we still have a core of better and more talented players, plus more talented rookies/replacements. 23-17 Broncos over the Niners. - Pete Baron
Broncos 27, 49ers 17
This game boils down to talent. Even with Emmanuel Sanders out and a rookie needing to step into his very big NFL shoes, the Denver Broncos team is by far the team with the edge in the talent department and it isn’t even close. The Broncos defense is quietly turning into a force that is just shutting every team they face down. The Phillip Lindsay effect is in full stride on offense and makes everything hum. Add to it that Case Keenum is playing smart, manageable football and you have a team that is _very_ hard to beat late in the season. I got the Broncos 27 - 49ers 17. - Sadaraine
Broncos 55, 49ers 10
When Ian St. Clair and I recorded the MHR Radio Podcast, I decided to make a prediction that I think most of Broncos Country can get behind. The worst defeat in Broncos history came against the 49ers, and I think that Denver will turn the table this time around. In a small moment of exercising some demons, 55-10 Denver.
And if I’m being serious, this is a trap game, but so was the Cincinnati game. They were ready for that. They will be ready for this. Denver will get the win. I stand by my score. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 27, 49ers 10
The Broncos need to do what they’ve done the last three weeks — feed the ball to Lindsay, pressure the quarterback and win the turnover battle. In other words, play complementary football. Denver also needs to keep that chip on its shoulder, put in the work during the week and execute on Sunday. That’s how the Broncos overcome the injuries and remain in the AFC playoff picture. - Ian St. Clair