National Football League
Preview
San Francisco at Denver
When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, October 19, 2014
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado


Peyton Manning can shatter the NFL record for career touchdown passes when the Denver Broncos host the surging San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. Manning needs three scoring strikes to surpass the all-time record of 508 held by Brett Favre, but the league's only five-time Most Valuable Player said his focus is on San Francisco. “We’re playing a tough schedule, we've got the 49ers at home and they've been one of the dominant teams of the past couple years," Manning said. "That’s all I’m thinking about.”

San Francisco has a short week to prepare for Manning and the Broncos after spotting St. Louis an early 14-point lead before roaring back for a 31-17 victory on Monday night, extending its winning streak to three games. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is coming off his finest performance of the season, throwing for 343 yards and three scoring passes to keep the 49ers a half-game behind first-place Arizona in the NFC West. San Francisco's defense offers a test for Manning, ranking second in both total yards (287.2) and passing yards (207.3).

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Broncos -6.5. O/U: 49.5

ABOUT THE 49ERS (4-2): San Francisco could be shorthanded for the duel with Manning, with Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis expected to miss the game and cornerback Jimmie Ward a question mark after suffering injuries against St. Louis, leaving the 49ers without three of their top linebackers. Defensive back Perrish Cox said the team has confidence in rookie Chris Borland, who replaced Willis on Monday night and register two tackles and a pair of pass breakups. "“We’ve all got trust in Chris Borland,” Cox said. "He’s got big shoes to fill. We’re going to miss Pat in this game, but we’ve all just got to step in.” San Francisco may lean on running back Frank Gore, who was limited to 38 yards last week but went over 100 yards in each of his previous two games.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (4-1): Manning has one of the league's best weapons and a matchup nightmare in third-year tight end Julius Thomas, who hauled in two more scoring passes in last week's 31-17 win over the New York Jets to give him nine for the season - tying Calvin Johnson for the most in league history through five games. Wideout Demaryius Thomas shook off a slow start and has put up a pair of monster games since the bye week, hauling in 18 catches for 350 yards and three touchdowns while running back Ronnie Hillman rushed for 100 yards against the Jets in his first career start. Manning has thrown for at least three TDs in four of the five games and has 15 scoring passes versus three interceptions. Linebacker Von Miller has six sacks for Denver, which is allowing only 76.8 yards rushing per game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Manning has thrown for 3,032 yards and 27 TDs in his last nine games against NFC opponents.

2. Kaepernick is 6-1 versus the AFC for the 49ers, who are 13-1 in October under coach Jim Harbaugh.

3. Miller has an AFC-high 41 sacks since 2011.

PREDICTION: Broncos 27, 49ers 23
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
San Francisco 4-2 W3 23.5 20.5 2-1 2-1 2-2 2-0 0-0 1-1 3-2
Denver 4-1 W2 29.4 20.8 3-0 1-1 3-0 1-1 0-1 1-0 3-0
Last Meeting
San Francisco Denver
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
8/17/14 DEN 34 SF 0 230 69 161 357 87 270
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
San Francisco K. Acker 0.0 0 0 0
Denver C. Anderson 0.0 0 0 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
San Francisco K. Acker 0 0 0.0 0
Denver C. Anderson 0 0 0.0 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
San Francisco K. Acker 0 0 0.0 0
Denver C. Anderson 0 0 0.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
San Francisco K. Acker 0
Denver C. Anderson 0
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
San Francisco C. Kaepernick 64.3 1456 10 4
Denver P. Manning 66.5 1530 15 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
San Francisco F. Gore 93 403 4.3 1
Denver M. Ball 55 172 3.1 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
San Francisco A. Boldin 32 397 12.4 1
Denver D. Thomas 31 491 15.8 4
Touchdowns Player TD
San Francisco M. Crabtree 3
Denver J. Thomas 9