San Francisco at Denver: Five Things We Learned
Hard work pays off
Yes, it’s a tiring cliché, but hard work does pay off. And that certainly rings true with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Against the San Francisco 49ers, on national television, Manning broke the record for career passing touchdowns. On a third-and-goal play in the second quarter, Manning connected with wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on an 8-yard touchdown pass – which was Manning’s 509th career touchdown pass.
Manning is one of the hardest working players in the NFL. He is commended greatly for his preparation for games. Undoubtedly, Manning deserves this record more than anybody.
Stevie Johnson has settled in nicely with San Francisco
Current 49ers wideout Stevie Johnson spent the first 6 seasons of his career with the Buffalo Bills before coming to San Francisco during the 2014 offseason. Against the Broncos, Johnson caught 5 passes for 79 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Johnson caught a 31-yard pass on a second down-and-18 play deep in 49ers territory. If Johnson can produce on a consistent basis, the 49ers may have one of the best receiving groups in the NFL.
Emmanuel Sanders fits very well in Denver
Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sands spent the first four seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sanders never quite blossomed in Pittsburgh, but he is doing very well in Denver with Manning as his quarterback. On Sunday night, Sanders caught a very impressive catch over the middle of the field in the first quarter. He finished the night with 3 receptions for 41 yards and 1 score. Sanders has already racked up over 500 yards of receiving this season; he totaled 740 receiving yards in his best year for the Steelers.
With their defense injury-ridden, the 49ers are not an elite team
The Broncos offense steamrolled the 49ers defense. The Broncos amassed 412 yards of total offense. Manning scorched them through the air, and running back Ronnie Hillman ran all over them. This was an ugly loss for the 49ers, but it wasn’t a crushing blow. The 49ers defense has plenty of time to regain its health.
Broncos are AFC’s best
The 2014 Broncos looks better than the 2013 Broncos. Against San Francisco, Denver was scary good on offense, and on defense, it stifled the San Francisco run game and limited quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The rest of the AFC pales in comparison to the Broncos – they are easily the most complete team in the AFC – maybe even the entire NFL.