By Court Zierk @courtzierk on August 16, 2014
In what many people consider to be a potential Super Bowl preview, the Broncos will head into San Francisco to help christen newly-opened Levi’s Stadium. There are some interesting storylines and intriguing matchups. We should be in for a good game. Here are five bold predictions to watch for.
Osweiler had an up-and-down start to the season, going 6-of-12 for 85 yards, one touchdown and a 66.3 QB rating. I expect him to be one of the standout players against the 49ers, who are hobbled in the defensive backfield. He should be able to throw for more than 100 yards, and I think he will be much more efficient, potentially breaking the 90-point barrier for QB rating.
Carlos Hyde had a strong first performance, rushing for 39 yards on five carries for a 7.8 YPC average. If there is one position the Broncos are especially deep at, it is the defensive line. I think that Hyde will have a hard time even gaining three yards per carry against the stout Broncos defensive front.
Juwan Howard had an incredible performance in Week 1, rushing for 59 yards on six carries for a 9.8 YPC average. He looked strong and explosive, and I think he won’t miss a beat as he attempts to solidify his spot on the roster. He could flirt with 100 yards in this game.
As mentioned previously, the 49ers are dealing with some injuries in the secondary, most notably Tramaine Brock who will sit out, along with Chris Culliver and Chris Cook, who are both dealing with knee injuries. That, of course creates opportunities for Perrish Cox, Darryl Morris and Kenneth Acker, who will be hungry to prove they belong on this team. Don’t be shocked if one of them walks away with a pick from No. 18.
The 49ers’ offensive line struggled mightily last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, the Broncos were able to get consistent pressure on Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson and Terrelle Pryor last week. This should be a matchup of strength vs. weakness, and the Broncos will capitalize by increasing their sack count of three from a week ago.
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