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San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos: Prospector's Guide - London Edition


You may have noticed a lot of discussion about London in some of our posts. I don't know if I ever made an official announcement, so consider this it. In a few hours I'll be taking off from San Francisco International Airport to make my way over to London to "enjoy" some 49ers football at Wembley Stadium. I'm connecting through Calgary so I'll be getting into London at 11am tomorrow.

First off, big thanks to wjackalope for putting together this logo. I'm planning on using that for most of the posts I do over in London. I'm bringing a camera so hopefully I can get plenty of good pictures. I'll be in London until next Wednesday so I'm excited to check things out. I've been to England in the past, but never London (aside from Heathrow) so I'm really excited. I'm bringing my Patrick Willis jersey so I'll work that into as many pictures as I can.

More importantly, the 49ers and NFL have been kind enough to hook me up with a press pass for the game. The game is at 5pm in London and 10am out here in San Francisco (they've got daylight savings a week earlier, so I'd imagine half the time I'm there I won't know when it is!). Given the reasonable time I'd like to try and conduct some kind of live blog from the game. I don't know how Wembley Stadium's Internet works so consider it a game-time decision.

Assuming there is a reasonably reliable Internet connection, what kind of system would folks like? Just me wandering through like a normal game with new threads as needed? Or would you like any sort of updates during the course of the game? A couple years ago when I was doing live running diaries of the draft I'd provide updates within each thread and you'd need to refresh the post to see updates. Let me know what you guys would like to see happen and if the Internet is functional I'll see what I can arrange.

Once again I've attached a prediction poll. Head after the jump for random tidbits about this matchup.

The 49ers are in London this week to face the Denver Broncos in what will be the 13th regular season meeting between the two teams. The game marks the 49ers first regular season game at Wembley Stadium, but the third overall as the team played preseason games at the historic stadium in 1988 (vs. Miami) and 1992 (vs. Washington).

The 49ers last played internationally on October 2, 2005, when they battled the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City in front of 103,467 fans at Azteca Stadium. That game marked the first international regular season game in NFL history.

San Francisco fell to Carolina this past Sunday, 23-20, after Panthers K John Kasay hit the go-ahead, 37-yard FG with 39 seconds remaining in the game. RB Frank Gore eclipsed the century mark on the ground by tallying 102 yards on 19 carries. DT Ray McDonald intercepted Panthers QB Matt Moore and rumbled 31 yards to the end zone, marking the second TD of his career.

49ers-Broncos Connections
- 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson coached with Broncos offensive line coach Clancy Barone and secondary coach Ed Donatell while the three were with the Falcons from 2004-05. Donatell also coached with 49ers quarterbacks coach Jason Michael while the two were with the Jets during the 2007 season.

- Mike Johnson coached with Broncos defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely while the two were with the Chargers from 2000-01. Nunnely coached with 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky while the two were with the Chargers from 2002-06.

- 49ers special teams coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer coached with Broncos tight ends coach Bob Ligashesky while the two were with the Rams during the 2005 season.

- 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman coached with Broncos defensive coordinator Don Martindale while the two were with the Raiders from 2007-08. Martindale coached at Western Kentucky University while 49ers quarterbacks coach Jason Michael was a quarterback there from 2001-02.

- 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari coached with Broncos special teams coordinator Mike Priefer while the two were with the Chiefs from 2006-07.

- 49ers special asst. to head coach/secondary Johnnie Lynn coached with Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville while the two were with the New York Giants from 2002-03. Studesville coached with 49ers asst. offensive line coach Ray Brown while the two were with the Bills from 2008-09.

- Lynn coached with Broncos asst. offensive line coach Bob Wylie while the two were with the Buccaneers from 1994-95.

- Broncos wide receivers coach Adam Gase served as the 49ers offensive assistant during the 2008 season. Gase coached with 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman while the two were with the Lions during the 2005 season.

BRONCOS-NOR CAL CONNECTIONS: Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is a native of San Francisco ... Broncos coaching assistant Brian Callahan spent two seasons as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Junipero Serra H.S. in San Mateo ... Broncos rookie CB Syd'Quan Thompson played at the Cal from 2006-09 and is a native of Sacramento ... Broncos LB D.J. Williams is a native of Sacramento ... Broncos LS Lonie Paxton played at Sacramento State from 1996-99.

49ERS DENVER CONNECTIONS - 49ers K Joe Nedney played in 3 games with the Broncos during the 2000 season.

FORMER 49ERS - Broncos DL Ronald Fields was a 5th round (137th overall) draft pick by the 49ers in the 2005 NFL draft. He spent 4 seasons with the team and played in 49 games, including 9 starts ... Broncos WR Brandon Lloyd was a 4th round (124th overall) draft pick by the 49ers in the 2003 NFL draft. He spent 3 seasons with the team and played in 45 games, including 29 starts ... Broncos LB Diyral Briggs was a practice squad member for the 49ers in 2009 before being signed to the active roster (10/27/09). Briggs was also a part of the 53-man roster this season before being released in September.

GATOR CHOMP - 49ers DT Ray McDonald, Broncos LB Jarvis Moss, and DL Marcus Thomas were all teammates at the University of Florida from 2003-05.

GEORGIA ON THEIR MIND - 49ers DT Demetric Evans and Broncos CB Champ Bailey were teammates at the University of Georgia during the 1998 season.

THE "U" - 49ers RB Frank Gore and Broncos LB D.J. Williams were teammates at the University of Miami from 2001-02.

MISSISSIPPI MEN - 49ers LB Patrick Willis and Broncos CB Cassius Vaughn patrolled the Rebel defensive backfield while the two were teammates at the University of Mississippi during the 2006 season.

PART OF THE "PACK" - 49ers LB Manny Lawson and Broncos RB Andre Brown were teammates at North Carolina State during the 2005 season.

HELLO HOKIES - 49ers WR Josh Morgan and Broncos WR Eddie Royal split passes at Virginia Tech University from 2003-05.

HUSKY HEAVEN - 49ers S Dashon Goldson and Broncos OL Stanley Daniels were teammates at the University of Washington 2004-06.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 12
Series Record: Series Tied 6-6
49ers Home Record vs. Broncos: Series Tied 3-3
First Meeting: 10/25/70, 49ers win, 19-14
Last Meeting: 12/31/06, 49ers win, 26-23 (OT)
Current Streak: Won 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 3 (1/28/90-12/15/97)
Longest Broncos Win Streak: 4 (11/18/79-10/9/88)
Most 49ers Points: 55 (1/28/90 - Super Bowl XXIV), 55-10, at Superdome - New Orleans
Most Broncos Points: 38 (11/18/79), 38-28, vs. Denver
49ers Shutouts: None
Broncos Shutouts
: None

At Denver, CO, December 31, 2006

The San Francisco 49ers overcame a 13-0 deficit to pull out a 26-23 win over the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High. The 49ers played the role of spoilers when the victory knocked the Broncos out of the playoffs. The 49ers come-from-behind win was led by three outstanding individual efforts: RB Frank Gore gained 153 rushing yards, PK Joe Nedney kicked 4 FGs along with the game winner in overtime, and CB Walt Harris snagged 2 INTs, including a 28-yard TD return in the 3rd quarter. WR Bryan Gilmore had two key plays in overtime to advance the 49ers into field goal range for the game winning kick.

During the first half, strong 49ers goal-line defense helped limit Denver to a pair of FGs on drives that were stopped when the Broncos were in 1st-and-goal situations. The 49ers defense again held Denver to a FG in the 3rd quarter when the Broncos had a 1st-and-goal inside the 5-yard line. Denver went ahead 13-0 in the second quarter when CB Champ Bailey took a deflected theft 70 yards into the end zone. Nedney booted a 46-yard FG to put the score at 13-3 in Denver's favor at the end of the half.

San Francisco rallied in the second half, converting its first series into a 12-play, 76-yard TD drive. FB Moran Norris caught a short pass from Smith and weaved in and out of traffic for a 32-yard TD. The 49ers took the lead on the ensuing drive when Harris picked off QB Jay Cutler and went 28 yards untouched for a TD that gave the 49ers a 17-13 lead. Denver responded with a FG on the next series, but the 49ers added 2 FGs in the 4th quarter for a 23-16 advantage with 6:14 to play in regulation. Cutler completed a 9-yard TD pass to TE Tony Scheffler to tie the game at 23-23 and send it into overtime.

Denver won the coin toss, but was forced to punt on two drives before a 12-yd. return by PR Brandon Williams allowed the 49ers to start their game-winning drive at their own 39-yard line. Gilmore gained 20 yds. on an end route and then caught a 14-yd. pass from QB Alex Smith for a 1st down at the Denver 25-yard line. Two plays later, Nedney kicked a 36-yard FG to give San Francisco the win.

2010 Statistics

49ERS (rank) BRONCOS (rank)
1-6 (4th NFCW) Record 2-5 (4th AFCW)
16.1 (31st) Points per game 19.7 (21st)
312.6 (21st) Total Offense 358.6 (10th)
92.3 (28th) Rushing Offense 68.4 (32nd)
220.3 (16th) Passing Offense 290.1 (4th)
29:03 (21st) Possession Avg 29:48 (19th)
23.1 (24th) Points allowed/gm 28.4 (30th)
321.9 (13th) Total Defense 361.9 (25th)
106.1 (15th) Rushing Defense 156.3 (30th)
215.7 (15th Passing Defense 205.6 (10th)
13 (t-14th Sacks 9 (t-27th)
46.1 (7th) Punting Avg (Gross) 46.5 (6th)
-6 (t-27th Turnover Differential -2 (t-20th)