Following up with the 2010 opponent breakdown, let’s continue on with the next opponent on the schedule.
The 49ers will take on the Denver Broncos in London.
2009 Record: 8-8 (2nd AFC West)
Last meeting: 12/31/06 @ Denver (San Francisco wins 26-23)
2010 schedule: Week 8 @ London (Wembley Stadium)
Top 3 best players: S Brian Dawkins, CB Champ Bailey, LB Elvis Dumervil
Franchise player: None
Notable draft picks: QB Tim Tebow, WR Demaryius Thomas, OT Zane Beadles, CB Perrish Cox, CB Syd’Quan Thompson
Notable new acquisitions: RB JJ Arrington, LB Akin Ayodele, DE Jarvis Green, QB Brady Quinn, NT Jamal Williams
Notable losses: WR Brandon Marshall, TE Tony Scheffler, QB Chris Simms
The 49ers and Broncos will meet in London for the NFL’s annual game across the pond. The Broncos will try to establish themselves as a team that doesn’t tailspin down the stretch. They have retooled their offense in hopes of finding some consistency.
Still under center is Kyle Orton, but the Broncos know that Brady Quinn will be watching very closely. Any sign of struggling from Orton could lead to Quinn’s promotion. And even though it is very unlikely that the 49ers will see Tim Tebow, we might never know what head coach Josh McDaniels could have planned for him.
The offense relied heavily on then rookie Knowshon Moreno last season. But with the signing of veteran Correll Buckhalter, the Broncos might have hopes of making the running attack a two-headed duo. Buckhalter in his days with the Eagles never got a chance to play full-time behind Brian Westbrook. However, during Westbrook’s injuries, Buckhalter showed signs of potential in a starting role.
The biggest absence from the Broncos is the departure of Brandon Marshall. After a very nasty break up from the team, the Broncos will focus on getting Eddie Royal Jabar Gaffney the ball. Also gone is Tony Scheffler from the tight end position. The passing game will be one of the focuses for the Broncos and it might be one of the area in which the 49ers know they have to attack.
Defensively, the Broncos provide some solid veterans on the team. Cornerback Champ Bailey and safety Brian Dawkins have combined for 17 Pro Bowls. With such experience, the 49ers will have to be very careful with their passing attack.
The Broncos added veteran nose tackle Jamal Williams from the Chargers to help bolster their defensive line. Adding Williams with linebacker Elvis Dumervil will be a challenge for the 49ers. The Broncos ranked tenth in sacks last season. However, the Broncos had the tenth worst rush defense in the league last year.
The 49ers know that they might have to go heavy on the run game early to set the momentum. With a Broncos team that still looks very inconsistent as a team, the 49ers might have the slight advantage early on. But it should not be an easy task for the 49ers.
Last year with a mediocre team, the Broncos jumped to a 6-0 start before collapsing down the stretch. With the Broncos, you don’t know which team shows up each Sunday.
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