The Denver Broncos (6-6) will head to Levi’s Stadium to take on the San Francisco 49ers (2-10) in Week 14 (December 9, 2018 at 4:05pm EST). The 49ers opened as 6.0-point home underdogs.
Denver’s offense relies on its ability to run the ball. They score 23.0 points per game (17th), primarily due to their fifth-ranked rushing attack. The Broncos churn out 132.5 yards per game on the ground, led by Phillip Lindsay.
Case Keenum has been very happy relying on Lindsay and the rest of the Denver backfield this season. The QB has thrown for just 2,953 yards (16th) with 14 touchdowns (23rd) and 10 interceptions – an 85.1 passer rating. Meanwhile, Lindsay has rushed for 937 yards (4th) and eight TDs this season, with 157 of those yards coming last week against the Bengals. Getting Lindsay going early will be crucial in Week 14.
Defensively, Denver gives up 122.1 rushing yards per game (23rd) and 260.7 through the air (23rd). The consequence has been the Broncos allowing 21.8 points per game (11th). So even if Keenum and the offense stumble, Denver is happy relying on their defense to keep this one close.
Fortunately, Denver’s defense avoids any sort of offensive juggernaut this week, when they meet the 49ers. San Francisco is scoring just 21.3 PPG (22nd).
They would have a much easier time finding the endzone, though, if they’d just quit killing so many drives with turnovers. San Francisco has already committed 25 turnovers this season, which is the second-most in the league. As the 49ers are discovering, you cannot consistently score points with such careless play.
Errant Nick Mullens passes have resulted in five of those giveaways. The coaching staff needs to drill ball security into their players to start having any success on offense, especially this week against a Broncos’ defense that ranks 10th in takeaways.
The 49ers defense doesn’t provide much help. They’re surrendering a dreadful 28.0 PPG, the fourth-most in the league. Opposing offenses rarely feel threatened, as this defense doesn’t possess any true strength. San Francisco is allowing 108.2 rushing yards per game (15th) and 240.6 through the air (13th). It seems there will be plenty of touchdowns to go around for both Case Keenum and Phillip Lindsay this week.