Posted by Henry Watkins on August 18, 2016
For the defending Super Bowl Champions, it’s time to forget about the successes of a few months ago, and time to start thinking about the large target on you back. Any team who has ever won a title will tell you that defending it is harder than winning it in the first place, simply because everyone else wants a piece of the champion. The Denver Broncos essentially won it all with superior defensive play last year, and the general consensus is that they are going to have to go about things the exact same way this time around, mostly because Manning is gone, and an adequate replacement isn’t really in place. While that is a pretty big problem to have, it pales in comparison to what is going on in San Francisco. The 49ers look like a total shambles, and with the NFC West looking to be stronger than usual this season, they could be in for a rough go of things. They are way down in the Super Bowl 51 betting odds, and I don’t see them doing much to change that as the season progresses.
It is beginning to look more and more like Blaine Gabbert is going to be the man in San Francisco 49ers, as Colin Kaepernick looks like a man caught in limbo at the moment. Kaepernick came very close to moving to Denver in the offseason, but a potential deal fell through, leaving him on something of a strange spot. Gabbert did very little to impress in a Week 1 preseason loss, going just 4-10 for 63 yards and a TD. 43 of those yards came on the TD pass, but it has to be said that he looked pretty shaky overall. Kaepernick did not feature at all in that game, a 24-13 loss to the Texans, and it’s going to be interesting to see if he gets any snaps in Denver.
There are a trio of QB’s in Denver looking to take the number one spot, and Mark Sanchez will have given himself a leg-up with his performance in Week 1 of the preseason. He went 10-13 for 99 yards and 1 TD, as well as 1 INT, in a 22-0 win for the Broncos. As good as that performance was, what really jumped out was the ability of the Denver defense to essentially shut down the Bears. Chicago were held to 146 yards through the air, and just 48 on the ground, and much of that was against the Broncos reserves. It’s early yet, but this is the kind of defensive domination that the Broncos showed off last year.
San Francisco versus Denver Winning Favorites