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The San Francisco 49ers will take a 20-0 lead over the visiting Denver Broncos into halftime, thanks largely to an effective Niners defense and a record-setting day by tight end George Kittle.


While it's pretty impressive the San Francisco 49ers are up 20-0 at halftime in Week 14 over the 6-6 Denver Broncos, who are desperately clinging to playoff hopes, the most impressive part of the Niners' efforts have been those of second-year tight end George Kittle.

Kittle entered the contest with 893 receiving yards this season, needing just 73 to set a new single-season franchise record for receiving yards among tight ends and 107 to become the first 49ers pass catcher to reach 1,000 receiving yards since wide receiver Anquan Boldin did it back in 2014.

Former Niners tight end Vernon Davis held the previous record with 965, set back in 2009.

With 28 seconds remaining in the first quarter and the 49ers off to a 3-0 lead, quarterback Nick Mullens hit Kittle for a 52-yard completion that broke Davis' prior record and eventually led to another San Francisco field goal:


After forcing a Broncos punt, Mullens found Kittle again, this time for an 85-yard touchdown that broke the 1,000-yard streak dating back to Boldin:


Not surprisingly, Kittle leads all receiving targets with seven catches for 210 yards and the touchdown. Mullens, meanwhile went 16-of-24 for 271 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 132.5.

Defensively, the 49ers held Denver to just seven first downs and only 65 all-purpose yards. While the Broncos are without some primary pass-catching options, such as wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles), it's still impressive to see the Niners defense contain running back Phillip Lindsay to the tune of just three yards on five carries.

Lindsay entered Week 14 with an NFL-best 6.1 yards per carry this season.

Wide receiver Dante Pettis tacked on a 1-yard touchdown just before halftime, capping off a drive assisted by multiple Broncos penalties, including two neutral-zone infractions by Denver EDGE Von Miller.

Denver will get the ball first to start the second half.

Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @PeterPanacy on Twitter.