Denver Broncos(2-5,2-5 ATS) at San Francisco 49’s(1-6,3-4 ATS), Week8, NFL, Football, October 31,1:00 PM Eastern, Wembley Stadium,London England, TV: CBS
By Jeff Hochman of JHSportsline.com
Betting Odds:Den +1/SF -1
Two teams that are very likely to miss the playoffs collied in thisnon-conference matchup when the Denver Broncos visit the San Francisco 49er’s in London, England.
Nobody knows what happened to the Broncos last week as theygot hammeredas 7-point home chalk. Behind Darren McFadden’s four touchdowns, the Raiders scoredits most points in their 51-year history Sunday with a 59-14 thrashing of the Broncos. The Raiders won for the third straight time at Invesco Field, fueled by a 38-point outburst in the first 22 minutes that staggered the Broncos, who allowed 328 yards rushing, which the most rushing yards allowed by any team this decade. The Broncos were without their emotional leader (safety Brian Dawkins) for the second straight week. Theentire teamshowed little passion on their sideline as they were getting pummeled from start to finish. I have never seen a Broncos’ team that is so well coached play a game like that one.
With two weeks to prepare for the 49’s,Carolina looked like they would be losing another game. But, a late touchdown drive by Matt Moore and company tied the game at 20-20. Carolina got the ball back and than kicked a FG to go ahead 23-20. They would hold on and win by that same score for the underdog outright win. Matt Moore threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns in his return to the starting lineup. The Panthers played solid defense and did catch some breaks along the way. The 49’s, who had 11 penalties, had to shuffle their offensive line when Adam Snyder replaced Chilo Rachalin the first quarter. Left tackle Joe Staley left briefly with the same injury, and San Francisco managed just 282 yards of total offense.
The big factor in this gamecould bethe venue. The National Football League announced that the San Francisco 49’s will battle the Denver Broncos in London, England. The matchup will take place at Wembley Stadium. It will mark the 49’s third game ever at Wembley Stadium, as the team played two preseason contests in the historic venue. CBS will broadcast the game in the United States beginning at 1:00 PM EST.
When I watch film onbothteams it becomes very clear what theywant to do. The Broncos will spread you out and execute short, medium, and deep routes. Brandon Lloyd, Demaryius Thomas, Jabar Gaffney, and Eddie Royal are four of the best receivers on any one team. Denver actually uses the pass to set up the run. Knowshon Moreno is only averaging11.5 carries per game and is showing signs of breaking out very soon.
The 49’s like to use two tight-end sets and run Frank Gore early and often. That’s because Alex Smith and David Carr are not having much success running the offense this season. Who will start this game for San Francisco at QB? With Smith out, the 49’s are expected to hand the reins overto David Carr, a nine-year veteran who was pressed into duty Sunday. The 49’s play-calling had a conspicuous air of distrust when Carr entered the game, as he mostly handed the ball off to Frank Gore in a failed attempt to win behind the running game and a strong defense. With a full week of practice expect Carr to take some shots downfield.
The 49’s defensehas been good at stopping the run but Denverwould rather thow it,Patrick Willis is a big reason why, as he is one of the smartest and fastest linebackers in all of football. Heis ranked third inthe entire NFC in tackles through the firstseven weeks of the season and will be playing in London for the very first time.
LookforSan Francisco to run Frank Gore a lot, in hopes of busting upthe Broncos’rundefensethatallowed 328 rushing yards last week. If they have success on the ground that will open up some nice play-action bombs later in the game. Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree are the keys to this game, If they both catch at least 5 balls, that would mean the Play-action is working off Frank Gore’s running.
If defense is your cup of team than take a strong look at the 49’s in this game. They are allowing 23.1 points per game compared to almost 29 for Denver. That number is slightly misleadingdue to the fact that Oakland scored 59 pointslast week, San Francisco is also playing Special teams a lot better than Denver this season. The 49’s are ranked 12 spots higher in this very important category.
Denver is 3-10 SU and 2-11 ATS when playing a team with a winning record. The 49’s are 1-10 SU and 2-8 ATS in weeks five through nine.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Pass.
These NFL games in another country are extremely difficult to handicap. You just don’t know how each team will react from the long plane ride over there. Seriously, this is not a game to wager on. Trust me!