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.

Prediction Time:

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.