The San Francisco 49ers saw their record on the season fall to 4-3 as the Denver Broncos handed them the third worse defeat of the Jim Harbaugh era. For the second week in a row the 49ers saw their opponent race out to a quick 14-0 lead, but unlike the week before they would not be able to catch up to the defending AFC Champions.
With the loss the 49ers fall to a game and a half behind the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC West division lead as they go into their bye week.
Let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Saturday.
1) Can the 49ers defense slow down Peyton Manning? - No.
Manning torched the 49ers defense for 318 yards, 4 touchdowns and finished with a quarterback rating of 157.2. Manning's second quarter touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas broke Brett Favre's record for most touchdown passes in a career.
2) How will Colin Kaepernick follow up his Monday night performance? -
Kaepernick had a solid first half for the most part. You can't blame him for the Vernon Davis drop on a route deep down the middle on the 49ers third possession of the game. And his pass to Anquan Boldin likely would have been a touchdown had it not been dropped.
The final nail in the 49ers coffin though came early in the third quarter when Kaepernick misread the Broncos coverage and went for the deep ball to Stevie Johnson instead of taking the easy, underneath throw to Bruce Ellington that would have netted a first down.
Peyton Manning hit Thomas for a 40 yard touchdown pass on the next play and the route was on.
3) How will Joe Staley and Jonathan Martin hold up against DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller? - Not good.
Ware and Miller dominated this matchup throughout the night. Ware finished with 3 sacks and Miller had 2.
4) Can the 49ers get the run game going without Mike Iupati? - No.
They didn't really try. Frank Gore touched the ball nine times and was targeted on one pass. As I said after the Bears and Cardinals games, bad things happen to the 49ers when Frank Gore is not involved in the offense. Tonight was just another example of that.
5) How will the 49ers handle the short week? - Not well.
As if going against Peyton Manning wasn't hard enough, the 49ers were also fighting themselves throughout the first half. The 49ers offense missed out on seven points in the half when Phil Dawson pulled a 51 yard field goal attempt wide left, and Boldin dropped a pass from Kaepernick at the goal line.
The defense did it's part as well. Mid-way through the second quarter Manning hit Emmanuel Sanders for a 20 yard completion on 3rd and 7. On the play Aaron Lynch drew a 15 yard personal foul for head butting turning it into a 35 yard gain.
49ers 24 Broncos 23
I need to take my prediction machine into the shop.
* Daniel Kilgore is likely out for the remainder of the year after sustaining what appears to be a fractured ankle in the third quarter.
* Denver scored 42 and 41 points at home against the teams currently in first and second place in the NFC West.
* Tramaine Brock has really struggled since he signed his contract extension last November. In the 7 games leading up to the extension he had given up a passer rating of 71.05, with 4 interceptions and only 3 touchdowns. In the 11 games since the extension he has given up a passer rating of 107.16 with only 1 interception and 5 touchdowns.
Date: October 22, 2014 at 6:32 AM
I had a feeling we would lose this game due to the injuries and the short schedule however we still had a chance to change the momentum of the game in the first half. Vernon Davis and Crabtree have not been productive this season and the dropped passes by VD, Crabtree and Boldin had a major impact on the outcome of the game. I personally thought CK played an amazing game. He was going through his progression and throwing the ball really well. His INT was questionable but I give credit to the Denver defense, The DB dropped back to double cover Johnson rather than covering Bruce Ellington for the first down. I truly believe Ck felt the db was going to cover Bruce to not give up the first down so he went long to Johnson, in the hind-side it was not a good decision but how would you know!
In the second half when we were down, CK was not effective with the type of protection he received and defense was just pinning their ears hunting.
We are 4-3 and we lost Kilgore for the season
Brock looked awful
VD does not look like the same player since the first week
Our OL just looked miserable
Injuries have disabled this roster
CK appears to be improving ev
By: Mike S
Date: October 20, 2014 at 8:33 PM
Comment: Also until Davis shows he's getting back to speed & his head back in the game I think Carrier should be in to rotate more. At this time the kid is hungry & naturally has better hands than VD. Seldom does Miller get the ball but in the absence of VD's production we could make up for it by more plays to Carrier & Miller in the meantime. I have yet to see Carrier drop a pass & the same with Miller. What blows is we practically need Davis because as I POUND that this team desperately needs MORE SPEED in the Offense to manufacture more big chunk plays & spread out the Defense making our Offense more deadlier & un-guardable, SADLY Davis is the ONLY PLAYER THAT CAN STRETCH THE FIELD. Lloyd still needs a double move to try & create the opportunity to break free deep
By: Mike S
Date: October 20, 2014 at 8:25 PM
Comment: Amen Richkid....Boldin DOES CARRY the team. Crabtree WHERE are you??! I agree at this time lets see what Johnson can do as the starter. WTF do you expect from Dawson? Our RZ Offense SUCKS. And REPEATED 50 yard field goals after another? How about Coaching up Kapernick to recognize & think about the actual game situation like the play that stands out where it's 3rd & 3 & he tries to go for the home run / longer completion instead? Vs PManning we need to sustain drives, score, & GIVE THE D SOME REST. WAKE UP Kap...has great talent but needs to manage the clock & game better & know the present gametime situation. And to JH & Roman take note of BWalsh & practice your bread & butter plays with sustained repetition until almost perfect SO WE CAN EXECUTE ON SUNDAYS. LAST hey Baalke this team needs more SPEED ON OFFENSE PERIOD (a couple more pieces) ESP AN OUTSIDE DEEP THREAT. We've needed one since Day 1 of the Harbaugh era. GO NINERS!!
Date: October 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Comment: NINERS need better play calling and better protection from O line. They have 2 very good backs. USE THEM!!!
Date: October 20, 2014 at 9:22 AM
Comment: I thought the sequence that started with Kaep's interception and ended with Manning's TD not only put the nail in the coffin, but also epitomized a big difference the philosophies of the two offenses: Had the roles been reversed and the 9ers had come up with the TO while protecting a lead, I would be willing to bet that the play calling would have started off with a run, and ended 2 plays later with a field goal or a punt. The 9ers were mightily outgunned in this game, and it wasn't pretty. That said, it is what it is... I am not going to run around doing a whiny chicken little routine, proclaim the season over, call for everyone's head, and act like a little kid that just dropped a load in hid diaper (i.e. Grant Cohen). The team did get spanked though, and I just hope the whole organization took some notes last night, and that the the whole bunch can learn something from it.
Date: October 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM
Comment: There was no pressure on manning and coverages were not well disguised. We never had a chance.
Date: October 20, 2014 at 8:21 AM
Comment: U can not get upset with bolden he carries us.gore is key to our success pound and ground harbarugh needs to shelve Crabtree the bum for Johnson all day and use the double running threat. And Davis.ari is the team. To beat for nfc west let get healthy we will be great after the bye
Date: October 20, 2014 at 6:43 AM
Comment: Lets just forget the 2nd half for a minute. The first half would have been a very competitive game IF the WR's could just catch the ball! This lack of execution sucked the wind out of the 49ers, and the 2nd half was just icing on the cake.
Date: October 20, 2014 at 2:03 AM
Comment: Just finished watching the game, and I see what you mean about the first half Jack. The score should have been a lot closer if not for some bad drops and mistakes. The second half was just a disaster for the offense though. Not sure why they tried to go with such a heavy dose of the spread again - Kaep really is better when the threat of play-action is mixed in heavily. One of the few positives I'll take out of this game is the players did not appear to quit. They were completely out-gunned, but the effort was still there. Sometimes this was actually to their detriment as players tried too hard to make a play they forgot to play sound football, like on Hillman's long TD run. But at least they were still trying.
Date: October 20, 2014 at 12:30 AM
Comment: I think that maybe this is the time when Stevie Johnson must start over Michael Crabtree because Johnson looks faster, more dangerous and hungrier than Crabtree.
Date: October 19, 2014 at 10:18 PM
Comment: I didn't get to watch the game today, but given the result I can't say I'm too upset about that. Even so, from everything I've read it sounds like there weren't many (any?) positives to take out of the game for the 49ers, aside from a learning experience. Getting some key troops back after the bye week never looked so important.