Four more games and this season from hell is over for the San Francisco 49ers. I don’t think I’ve seen such a hopeful season to build on become such a disappointment as time goes on. The worst part is, there’s not really much you can blame besides Lady Luck.
So, the Broncos. They are a bit strange. They are stuck in .500 hell with Case Keenum as their quarterback. Keenum was thought of as an upgrade by all parties (this writer included) but something seems to keep him from blowing up like the quarterback he was with the Minnesota Vikings.
The 49ers will win if...
Let’s just get this out of the way: You already knew blind optimism regarding the 2018 season after Week 8 wasn’t funny for obvious, common-sense reasons. There’s been a lot of false hope, and at this point unless you are affiliated with the 49ers for any reason, rooting for a loss is becoming a necessary evil, no matter how much a win may help that team. This cannot be helped.
That said, I suppose it’s safe now to continue: The 49ers need turnovers. Lots and lots of turnovers. The 49ers can win if they get turnovers for the sheer reason that the Broncos offense, while getting it’s moments, cannot keep up if they start turning the ball over (having lost wide receivers can do that). The 49ers will need to win the turnover battle and get some good field position. Especially against that defense.
The 49ers will lose if...
Two words: Phillip Lindsay. The Broncos UDFA running back and candidate for the Pro Bowl in his rookie season has an opportunity to run wild on the 49ers defense. If you thought the Seahawks running game could do whatever the hell it wanted, wait until the Broncos try it. If the 49ers defense can’t return to it’s solid run-stuffing ways that it had to start the season, it’s going to be a long day.
The Broncos have lost Emmanuel Sanders to an ACL injury and all they have to really worry about in the secondary is Courtland Sutton. That said, the 49ers secondary is bad, so some no-name wide receiver could have a career day against this bunch.
Everything is riding on Lindsay. If the 49ers cannot keep him from running those frustrating go-arounds, or those screen dump-offs that Keenum loves to rely on, they aren’t winning. The 49ers offense can’t keep up when Denver’s defense is on the field.
What do you think it takes for the 49ers to win or lose?