- WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 19; 6:30 p.m. MDT.
- WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
- TV: NBC.
- SERIES RECORD: Series tied, 6-6 (49ers lead, 1-0 in the postseason).
- JOHN FOX'S RECORD: 3-0.
- PEYTON MANNING'S RECORD: 2-2.
- SERIES STREAK: San Francisco has won the last two.
- LAST TIME: Forty Niners 24, Broncos 16; Oct. 31, 2010. Kyle Orton was intercepted once and sacked four times as the Broncos fell in their first regular-season game held outside of the United States. A festive sellout crowd at London's Wembley Stadium greeted the two struggling teams, which limped across the Atlantic Ocean with a combined 3-11 record. They lived down to their reputations in a dull first half, which saw San Francisco lurch to a 3-0 lead. But after halftime, the game perked up considerably. The surge began when Tim Tebow ran for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Broncos in front, 7-3. The Broncos had a chance to extend the lead to 11 points when Orton hit Jabar Gaffney for a 38-yard touchdown, but it was wiped out by a chop-block infraction against Knowshon Moreno. Denver settled for a
Matt Praterfield goal six plays later, after which the 49ers erupted for three consecutive touchdowns. Denver replied with an Orton-to-Brandon Lloyd score to bring the Broncos back within eight points. With under two minutes remaining, it looked like the Broncos would be a two-point conversion away from a tie game after Eddie Royal returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown. But a Jarvis Moss penalty for an illegal block in the back nullified the return, and the subsequent drive ended in an interception.
- LAST TIME IN DENVER: Forty Niners 26, Broncos 23 (OT); Dec. 31, 2006. Joe Nedney's 36-yard field goal 13:04 into overtime knocked the Broncos out of a wild-card slot, but the game would be rendered meaningless less than 12 hours later, when cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed a few miles away from the stadium. The game itself saw the 49ers rally from a 13-3 second-quarter deficit with consecutive touchdowns, the second of which came on Walt Harris' 28-yard interception return of a Jay Cutler pass. Cutler rallied the Broncos to a game-tying, 9-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Tony Scheffler with 1:30 remaining in regulation. But the Broncos could not muster any momentum in overtime, punting on two possessions.
NOTING THE GAME:
- Much has changed from the last time these teams met in 2010, when they sat at the foot of their conferences. Both clubs hired their current coaches in the following offseason and have not missed the playoffs since; John Fox and Jim Harbaugh are a combined 70-25-1 since taking their current jobs, and each has led his team to one conference championship.
- This will mark the first time that the Broncos have faced Colin Kaepernick in the regular season. Kaepernick received a massive contract extension this year, having cemented his place as their franchise quarterback after just one and a half seasons as the starter. In that time, he has already led the 49ers to four playoff wins -- including three on the road -- and a Super Bowl appearance.
- This will be Manning's second game against a team that was one of the finalists for his services after being released by the Colts in 2012. On Dec. 8, 2013, the Broncos beat the Titans, 51-28. Manning later told Peter King of Sports Illustrated that "it was a tough call" telling the Titans and 49ers that he would not be joining each team.
- After winning six consecutive home games against NFC West foes from 1997-2002, the Broncos have lost three of the last four at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to that division. Overall, the Broncos are 2-6 against the NFC West since 2006.
- In the last decade, the Broncos have won five consecutive Sunday night home games played in September or October. When hosting Sunday night games in November or December in that same span, they are 1-3.
- By the time the teams meet again in the regular season, 16 years will have passed since the 49ers last hosted the Broncos for a game that counted. They have been frequent preseason foes, but the Broncos' last game in San Francisco was in 2002, since the 2010 game scheduled for there was moved to London. Denver will play the 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. in 2018. The Broncos' preseason trip to Levi's Stadium this August will mark the 49ers' first home game of any kind at their new venue.