While they don't play each other often, there is a bit of history between the 49ers and Broncos. The two teams squared off in Super Bowl XXIV in a matchup between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and John Elway. San Francisco got the better of Denver that day, as the 49ers capped off their dynasty by setting Super Bowl records for points scored (55) and margin of victory (45 points).
Sunday's Week 3 matchup between the two teams promises to be significantly more competitive. Both teams are coming off wins after dropping their season openers. The 49ers come to Denver after posting a 27-7 win over Seattle last Sunday. The Broncos got their first win of the 2022 campaign in a defensive battle with the Texans. Both teams are now looking to get above .500 before entering the fourth week of the regular season.
We'll preview the game along with giving our prediction for Sunday's outcome. Here's how you can follow the action in real time.How to watch
With Trey Lance injured, Jimmy Garoppolo has reprised his role as the 49ers' starting quarterback. Garoppolo played well in relief of Lance during last Sunday's win. He went 13 of 21 for 154 yards that included a touchdown pass to Ross Dwelley and a late touchdown run to ice the game.
Deebo Samuel continues to be one of the focal points of the 49ers offense. An All-Pro last season, Samuel has 105 rushing yards and a score this season along with 58 yards on seven receptions. Perennial Pro Bowl right end George Kittle is hoping to make his season debut on Sunday after missing the first two games with a groin injury.
San Francisco's defense will face a formidable Denver defense that is currently third for in the NFL in points allowed. The Broncos' leaders on defense include linebackers Bradley Chubb and Alex Singleton, defensive end Dre'Mont Jones and cornerback Patrick Surtain II. Surtain is one of 16 Broncos players who are on this week's injury report, as Denver's roster has been besieged by injuries during the opening month.
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The Broncos offense is just 24th in the league in scoring despite being top 10 in the NFL in rushing and passing. Denver's lack of success in the red zone is the biggest issue for the lack of scoring, as the Broncos offense is 31st in the NFL inside the opponent's 20-yard line. The Broncos will be facing a 49ers defense that is a pedestrian 19th in the league in red zone efficiency.
Another reason for the Broncos' scoring woes has been the inconsistent play of quarterback Russell Wilson, who completed less than 60% of his throws in his first two games with Denver. Wilson has developed a quick rapport with Courtland Sutton, who is second on the team in receptions and first with 194 receiving yards. The strength of the Broncos offense so far has been the running back duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. Williams is the team's reading rusher and is also Denver's leading pass catcher. Gordon has 105 yards through two games on 4.8 yards per carry.
San Francisco represents Denver's biggest defensive challenge thus