Sunday night wrap-up: Broncos can play defense too

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Peyton Manning got to have his moment in the first half.

But beyond the greatest touchdown-thrower in the history of the NFL, the Broncos are also building a defense that might give him a chance to add some more hardware to his trophy case as well.

While the night will be remembered for Manning breaking Brett Favre’s record for career touchdown passes, it was also a staunch defense that helped the Broncos to a 42-17 win over the 49ers.

A pass-rush that was augmented by the addition of DeMarcus Ware and the return of Von Miller has energized a group that pestered the 49ers throughout the night.

Both had sacks in the first half, extending their own personal streaks. The team combined to sack 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick six times on the night, with Ware getting three of them.

Ware’s second of the night moved him into 15th place on the all-time list, with Hall of Famers Derrick Thomas and Rickey Jackson easily within his grasp this year.

It also marked five straight games with at least one sack for Miller, the third time in his career he’s had such a hot streak.

But the Broncos did a solid job against the 49ers across the board. Frank Gore was limited to 20 yards on nine carries (only partially because the score was out of hand early), and the pass coverage was good throughout the night. Cornerback Aqib Talib gets the money and the attention, but fellow cornerback Chris Harris might be playing as well or better this year.

The night belonged to Manning, but having some balance on the other side of the ball might help him have a shot at another title.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1.The 49ers have problems, which go beyond the coach-front office drama which has threatened to obscure their season.

They’re simply running out of parts on defense, playing with a skeleton crew that was without a pair of Pro Bowl inside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, pass-rushing threat Aldon Smith and several others.

Manning was going to get his record regardless, but the 49ers don’t have the personnel remaining to play the kind of defense they’ve become accustomed to.

Getting Smith back — perhaps sooner rather than later — will mean a great deal, but there’s more wrong with this defense than one man can fix.

2. Manning is the quarterback, but John Fox is still the coach, so you know all that dangerous throwing stuff makes him nervous.

So it must have pleased him to see running back Ronnie Hillman run for a pair of scores (thankfully after Manning broke the record).

Hillman has shown himself to be more than just a change-of-pace back, running with good power inside. With Montee Ball on the shelf with a groin injury, he’s going to get plenty of chances, and he made the most of them Sunday.

3. The 49ers have been able to withstand offensive line injuries, but this next-man-up thing is getting ridiculous.

Losing center Daniel Kilgore to an apparent broken leg/ankle (trainers don’t break out the air cast for no reason) in the third quarter was a blow. His replacement, rookie Dillon Farrell, limped off the game in the fourth quarter, but he was able to return.

They drafted Southern Cal center Marcus Martin in the third round this year, and clearly hope he could develop there for the long term. But they had just developed Kilgore to replace Jonathan Goodwin, and gave him a contract extension.

They were able to get through without right tackle Anthony Davis since they had Jonathan Martin on hand, but with Mike Iupati out with a concussion, they’re stretched thin. Martin had to go in at guard, when Looney shifted inside to be the third center of the night during Farrell’s absence.

4. The Broncos sent out a collection of quotes from many of the quarterbacks Manning passed tonight, one of whom has some unfinished business.

“Congratulations, Peyton on your touchdown record, a great achievement,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. “We’ll see you in a few weeks.”

The Broncos go to New England on Nov. 2.

Brady has a meager 372 career passing touchdowns.

5. As impressive as Manning’s record-setting performance was, watching the reactions on the sidelines before and after the record tell you plenty about him as well.

When he finally broke the record in the second quarter, his teammates gleefully played monkey-in-the-middle with the ball, leaving Manning looking flustered for a moment before they let him have it back.

He’s the resident prankster, but the fact they were willing to mess with him a bit speaks to the respect they have for him.

But his reaction to the record-tying touchdown might have been the perfect Manning moment.

While others were celebrating, Manning was on the sideline studying photos of the 49ers defense, trying to find his next advantage.

It’s the kind of work he’s always put in, and much of the reason he was able to break the record.

57 responses to “Sunday night wrap-up: Broncos can play defense too

  1. It’s not hard to look good against Colin Kaepernick. His defense practices seven days a week on how to bail him out. Pretty sure they’ve grown tired of the fraud and mistake that Harbaugh made.

  2. Congrats to the greatest regular season QB ever, well deserved.

    Honestly, Broncos look beatable still. If these two teams played again, with the Niners having Boone, Iupati, Bowman, Willis and Smith….it will be a different result. Broncos look tough, but not scary.

  3. another blowout…

    good game by broncos…but hard not to beat up foes when you have roster filled with elite talent everywhere..

    49ers season is done …no way can they compete deep into playoffs

  4. I still remember being taunted by 49ers fans last year in the playoffs when our 5th string corner and starting DE had to play OLB in the playoffs. No sympathy from me, I’ll just repeat what you told me. ‘Injuries are a part of football and if you can’t win with them then you don’t deserve to win.’ Even counting Aldon Smith as an injury you still haven’t come close to the ‘skeleton crew’ you played in Green Bay last year. Just 5 more injuries and you’ll be where we were at.

  5. As an all time Niner faithful I’ll just say we got SCHOOLED.

    All the injured starters not withstanding, we were embarrassed the worst since the Seahack game two seasons ago. Hopefully we learn and fix the problems that lead to this debacle and Greg Roman finds another way home. Either way congrats Peyton, Denver fans and football historians alike as you witnessed a beat down of my beloved team. We’ll be back.

    GO NINERS!!!!!

  6. Congratulations, Peyton on your touchdown record, a great achievement,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. “We’ll see you in a few weeks.”

    Classless. Expected nothing less from the team who is only good because of Spygate.

    Broncos by 60.

  7. Being the best team now doesn’t matter if Denver isn’t the best team at this time on February 1st.

    The offense finally looks like it’s clicking again and the defense looks like it did in 2012.

  8. Two things from today. 1) Without great defenses Kap, and Wilson are average. 2) Guess the players get too much rest for Sunday Night football. Hasn’t been a competitive game since week 2 (Chicago 28 – 49ers 20).

  9. Proud of Peyton and our receivers, that Ronnie Hillman has stepped up the way he has carrying the ball, and especially of our defense absolutely dominating the Niners tonight.

    This team (and that’s what they are, not just Peyton and the records) has come together and looks set to make a run to remember.


  10. bonnovi says: Oct 19, 2014 11:40 PM

    The TV ratings for the Broncos-Cowboys Super Bowl are gonna be huge.

    Might be putting the cart before the horse there, but in the event you’re right… I’m thinking back to that crazy game between the two teams last year, and I’d LOVE to see a rematch of that game. (Preferably with the same outcome)

  11. Cards lead the division. Niners have weak points. Seattle is a joke on special teams.

    This race needs another two months to play out. So cute the power rankings, but don’t look past any nfc west team

  12. mshawn75 says:Oct 19, 2014 11:48 PM

    Two things from today. 1) Without great defenses Kap, and Wilson are average. 2) Guess the players get too much rest for Sunday Night football. Hasn’t been a competitive game since week 2 (Chicago 28 – 49ers 20).
    Nice job broncos, but did you not watch Wilson? He put the seahawks on his back and carried them tonight

  13. As a Niners fan, Peyton did a great job tonight. Keep in mind, Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman and Aldon Smith were out, just to name a few. Peyton, enjoy your record now because if you see the Niners again in the Super Bowl, you’re in trouble…….but you already know how that works.

  14. Just got back form this game, and quite simply, it felt historic. What a privilege to see one of the all time greats on a glorious night. What a game, what a country, I am utterly speechless. I’m taken aback and humbled to witness this spectacle. I could not do it justice. Thank you NFL COMMUNITY, be thankful all you Patriot, Packer,Bear,Raider,Dolphin et al. fan; what a wonderful game we all have.


  15. Lmao if these guys made last years Super Bowl it would’ve been a similar score only with the AFC coming out on top. Absolutely pathetic and a well deserved loss. They’ve been coasting off of other team’s mistakes all season but this is what happens when they face a team that knows what they’re doing.

  16. Niners can’t rush the passer. Young Db’s can’t cover good receivers with that much time…. Offensive line is weak at pass protection, which is an issue if the Niners have to come from behind and are in obvious passing situations.

    Baalke should trade Aldon Smith for a shut down cb, or put together a batch deal to get rid of Iupati for a solid pass protect left guard. Lynch is a real up and comer that can replace Aldon. Keep in mind that Aldon is a problem with his inconsistency With playing time and his distraction to the team.

  17. jjeagle says:
    Oct 19, 2014 11:42 PM

    49ers season is done …no way can they compete deep into playoffs
    As of today the standings still show the niners in 2nd place with the seahawks still half a game behind. With the niners on a bye week, even if the hawks win this week they are no better than tied with the niners. I would say if the niners are done at this stage in the season the hawks must be as well.

  18. Haters or not, the sheriff will be the best qb that ever lived. Proud to be a broncos fan and have the guy on my side! #surgeon

  19. Brady and Jughaid is one of the classiest friendly rivalries in all of sports. Two great players, both first ballot HOF. I’ll be watching on November 2nd, how about you?

  20. LOL so much for getting on us for losing to Denver, Forty Whiner fans! We managed OT make it a close game in the 4th quarter with Logan Thomas at QB; was it even a close game at halftime, SF fans? Hey Boldin, going to blame the refs for that drop in the end zone LOL? Denver looks great; I hope the Cardinals can play em’ in the SB with Palmer.

  21. As long time Bronco fan obviously tonight was a good one – especially against such old foes as the Niners.

    But Broncos setting records or dealing beat-downs mean nothing until they win a Bowl, otherwise the collective memory of the Peyton era will forever be Peyton-panties getting run up the flag pole in New Jersey one miserable winter day.

  22. Haha look at all these Bronco banwagoners and NINER haters.Yes Broncos you won but I’m glad we lost like that now and not in the super bowl like you choke artist I thought you bronco fans had class but I guess not we are 4 AND 3 i don’t give a crap what happened tonite after our bye this week things going to get interesting quick good luck and remember this we will see you in the super bowl bet that NINER4LIFE

  23. Well, I feel a little better about today now!!! Don’t mind losing by 2 so much after seeing the Santa Clara 49ers lose by 25. BAAAHaaaHaaaa!!!!

  24. To the guy who said Russell Wilson is average: First quarterback in the history of the NFL to pass for 300 yards and run for 100 yards in the same game. You wish your QB was that “average.”

    The Niners will go 8-8 this year. Their bubble has burst. Kaepernick has no heart and no poise. He’s still a one read then run guy. If you hit him a few times, he crumbles.

    I wish the 49ers would play every Sunday Night because it always takes the sting off a Seahawk loss when you get to see Santa Clara trolls and their club get utterly devastated by Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

    Niner Nation is evaporating before our eyes… they’re either Dallas or Denver fans now.

  25. It will be a long time before Peyton’s new record will be surpassed. It looks like Broncos will have the sb this year. They are well put together, seems faster than last year… they seem to have the speed of last year’s Seahawks and with Peyton as the qb, sb win looks inevitable. Niners just seems not to have the fight in them. I root for them, but it’s hopeless. I hope their injured players get back soon. Brady congratulated Peyton. It’s not classless like one perennial loser said. They’re friends and they have friendly rivalry. It’s just a statement of fact that they’re going to play against each other on the said date. The Pats are not sb caliber yet but they will put up a fight like they did last year. Broncos has a good chance to win over Pats this time considering their roster but it’s also a folly to write the Pats off. Brady and the Pats are such heartbreakers that way…

  26. Congratulations to Peyton Manning on a great accomplishment.

    Congratulations to the members of the Denver Broncos for a well played game.

    There is still work to be done…

    GET THE MAN THE RING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bronco Nation

  27. mshawn75 says:
    Oct 19, 2014 11:48 PM

    Two things from today. 1) Without great defenses Kap, and Wilson are average. 2) Guess the players get too much rest for Sunday Night football. Hasn’t been a competitive game since week 2 (Chicago 28 – 49ers 20).

    To start with anyone who witnessed the three scoring drives of 80 yds or more, that Wilson engineered and then calls him average, has just proven they have absolutely no knowledge of football whatsoever.

  28. What can you say it’s equivalent to the HR or Hits record in Baseball
    and unless Peyton wins it all and hangs it up the # is going to be almost unreachable..That being said for the 3rd year in a row there
    Shoukd be no excuse for Peyton and the Broncos not winning it all…but there will be…

  29. When you watch a game like that, you wonder how Denver ever loses.. One thing is for sure, if they get a big lead on a team with the improved defense, it is big trouble.

    Somehow teams figure out a way to get to Manning when the wind picks up and the weather gets cold. I hope it happens again this year, but the Broncos look unstoppable again at the moment.

  30. jayniner says:
    Oct 19, 2014 11:55 PM
    As a Niners fan, Peyton did a great job tonight. Keep in mind, Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman and Aldon Smith were out, just to name a few. Peyton, enjoy your record now because if you see the Niners again in the Super Bowl, you’re in trouble…….but you already know how that works.


    The Niners have to make the playoffs first. It’s not looking good for them at the moment as the wildcard probably won’t go to the west this year.

  31. Great team win by the Broncos, led by their HOF QB. Manning was hitting on all cylinders last night. This one stung for sure.

    Get healthy, study during the bye week, and just focus on the Rams in two weeks.

  32. Peyton a 100xs better than big Ben??well DUH!!!Peyton is better than 99% of all of the qbs playing today.
    The only flaw in that statement is Ben has 2 superbowls and Peyton has one.

  33. On this night I don’t think having all the key guys would have made a difference. This was Paytons night, looked that way from the onset and sometimes it goes that way. To bad about Kilgore, was one of the few bright spots on the O line so far.

  34. Judging by the comments, the Niners are the only team with injuries this year.

    Face it Niners, you kept the wrong QB and now it is really starting to show. Does Kaep have the ability to make more than one read? I believe he has confirmed the answer is “NO”.

    He does have one hell of an arm though. Enjoy that.

  35. Favre played where? Peyton played in a friggin dome. How does number #18 play when the weather is bad.

  36. Broncos and Cowboys are FRAUDS, MARK MY WORDS.

    And how much longer do people seriously expect peyton to play? Finish this season, 1 more? BYE BYE… Go retire with your records, millions, and hof w/e, your career is over sooner than later and it wasn’t a very great one cause you already choke away 2 SBs, how many more do you want to choke??? LOL.

  37. All of the posts about his records during the playoffs, only having one super bowl ring, it’s total crap. Fact is Manning has been in the league for 16 years, one of which he sat out with a serious neck injury. 510 thus far for 15 years is an average of 34 touchdowns per year; and that figure is going to increase as this year goes on. That’s a slightly better average than 2 per game per regular season over his entire career. Regardless of what team you root for, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.

    I don’t know of any current QB or past that can boost the same stat or better and do it for so long. Way to go Peyton, keep proving the doubters wrong, that’s what you do best.

  38. Look at the upcoming 49er 5 week schedule.

    vs Rams
    @ Saints
    @ Giants
    vs Washington

    Hopefully the week off and some easy opponents gets them some easy wins, because the stretch run is brutal.

    vs Seahawks
    @ Raiders (1 last easy game)
    @ Seahawks
    vs Chargers
    vs Cardinals

    I think they’ll be fortunate to win 9 games overall. Probably not enough to make the playoffs.

  39. chilawbuds says:
    Oct 20, 2014 11:14 AM

    I don’t know of any current QB or past that can boost the same stat or better and do it for so long. Way to go Peyton, keep proving the doubters wrong, that’s what you do best.


    Remember the first couple of years in IND peyton was phony, he would throw for a lot of yards and TDs but also a lot of turnovers that cost IND key games and always lose to Brady and NE in the play-offs. He was good but wasn’t great at all.

    The only reason petyon threw all those TDs was because he was in IND for the longest time.

    That division is one of the weakest one in the AFC and it still is, reason why Luck is good there now also. No saying either QB isn’t good, just saying they get easy wins, thus an easy road to the play-offs and easily pat their stats vs junk divisional teams year in year out. Nothing special. Also one of the main reason peyton choose Denver, AFC West another weak AFC division, but he didn’t think SD and KC was going to be good and they are actually decent… Would not be surprise if SD beat DEN this week lol.

  40. It’s hilarious watching all the donkey fans gushing over all those TD’s Manning threw for the Colts.

    The Niners just aren’t very good, and tattoo has been totally exposed. As usual, last years “best division in football” has become one of the worst.

    The AFCW is clearly the best division in football THIS YEAR, which is really all that counts.

  41. Overreaction Monday is in full swing I see. Nobody was going to beat Payton last night given the way he played. Especially a 9ers defense 5 starters out. Congrats to Payton and the Broncos. My 9ers got completely rolled and even if we had our starters, it would’ve been a uphill battle. #MuchNeededByeWeekAhead

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