The San Francisco 49ers won their third game of the season Sunday, stunning the Denver Broncos 20-14 at Levi’s Stadium. The matchup was a tale of two halves, the 49ers jumping out to an early 20-0 lead after two quarters. The Broncos did their best to close the gap, scoring 14 points in the second half while holding the 49ers scoreless. It wasn’t enough though, with Kyle Shanahan’s offense putting the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter.
Here’s our stock report after the 49ers’ win over the Broncos on Sunday:
Stock up: TE George Kittle
Just when you thought Kittle’s stock couldn’t rise any higher. The second-year tight end put together an all-time performance against the Broncos, catching seven passes for 210 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown. He fell just four yards short of Shannon Sharpe’s single-game yardage record. Kittle wasn’t left empty-handed though, setting the all-time single season yardage record for a 49ers tight end. He’s also the first 49ers tight end to eclipse 1,000 yards. Kittle now has 69 receptions for 1,103 yards and three touchdowns in 2018.
Stock down: CB K’Waun Williams
Williams’ stock drop has more to do with rookie D.J. Reed Jr. than it does anything of his own doing. The 49ers’ starting nickel cornerback was inactive against the Broncos, listed as questionable throughout the week with a knee injury. Williams’ injury opened up the door for Reed to move from free safety to cornerback, where he played at Kansas State. It’s safe to say he capitalized on the opportunity...
Stock up: DB D.J. Reed Jr.
Reed’s stat line against the Broncos was ridiculous. The 49ers’ fifth-round rookie led the team with 12 total tackles, adding three tackles for loss, one sack, one quarterback hit and one forced fumble. Reed’s performance against the Broncos gives coordinator Robert Saleh a tough decision on the starter moving forward when Williams gets healthy. Reed earned a more prominent role on the defense, nonetheless.
Stock down: Draft position
The 49ers’ third win of the season put them in a precarious position for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The team is now in a three-way tie with the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, all with 3-10 records. The 49ers still currently hold the No. 1 pick though, tied with the Cardinals with identical .530 strength of schedules, per Tankathon. San Francisco holds the divisional tiebreaker at 0-4 versus the Cardinals’ 2-2. Pending a win from either team, the draft’s top pick likely comes down to strength of schedule.
Stock up: 49ers defense
The 49ers’ defense put together one of its best performances of the year against the Broncos. The pass rush was effective, sacking Broncos quarterback Case Keenum twice and adding nine quarterback hits. Keenum completed just 57% of his passes and averaged just 4.4 yards per attempt. Denver rushed 103 total yards, but averaged a mere 3.8 yards per carry, with Phillip Lindsay getting only 30 yards on 2.1 yards per carry after entering the game leading the NFL in yards per carry. The Broncos were only able to convert two of 15 third-down attempts. The 49ers held the Broncos scoreless in the first half and to just 14 point in the second, despite a lack of production from the 49ers’ offense in the final two quarters.
Stock up: QB Nick Mullens
The former third-string quarterback continues to earn his spot as the 49ers’ starter. Mullens was better today than his stat line suggests, with several key drops in the second half that would’ve continued drives. He completed 20 of 33 passes for 332 yards, two touchdowns and an interception that deflected off the hands of receiver Trent Taylor, good for a 102.1 quarterback rating. Mullens will compete with fellow quarterback C.J. Beathard in the offseason for the right to back up Jimmy Garoppolo. For now, he has the clear edge.