Line: Broncos -7

Two four win teams face off in Denver on Sunday night. For most of the season there has been rampant rumors about the relationship between San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and the organizations front office. There was talk about how the teams “poor play” early on was indicative of how the players on the team were getting sick of Harbaugh’s coaching style and that he would be the logical candidate to become the next head coach at the University of Michigan. None of this seems to make any sense as the team has been playing better every week and has a 4-2 record overall. Denver has not been as dominant as it was last season, however all that matters is that they keep winning and they have with a 4-1 record with their lone loss coming against the defending Superbowl champion Seattle Seahawks in a tough overtime game. This game also gives quarterback Peyton Manning a chance to match Brett Favre for the most touchdown passes in NFL. He has 506 currently for his career while Favre holds the record with 508. While milestones are unlikely to affect a veteran like Manning, you wonder how it may affect a receiver with the potential record breaking pass headed his way.

The Broncos have had the toughest schedule in the league so far. Their first eight opponents averaged just short of 11 wins last season. The Broncos have been a passing team all season long and that was when starting running back Montee Ball was healthy. Ball will miss yet another game this week and was performing far below expectations when he was healthy. One benefactor of the increased amount of passes has been tight end Julius Thomas who with 9 touchdown catches is well on pace to break Rob Gronkowski’s record of 17 touchdown catches for a tight end. He has been unstoppable so far this season. Demarius Thomas started slowly nut has turned things up in recent weeks, making it very likely that the person who catches the record touchdown pass will have the last name Thomas.

The 49ers have one of the elite defesnes in the league and have been making it happen without Aldon Smith or Navarro Bowman and may also be without linebacker Patrick Willis, who suffered a toe injury during Monday Night Football. They are equally as dangerous in stopping the pass as they are the run. They average an NFL low 5.9 yards per passing attempt by an opponent. The offense has also gotten better on a weekly basis. Running Back Frank Gore appears to be drinking from the fountain of youth with over 400 yards rushing so far. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has shown an improved accuracy and he finished with 343 passing yards and 3 touchdowns last week. The key will be to keep Kaepernick protective an aggressive Bronco defense that has been getting to the quarterback all season long. Whoever wins the turnover battle is more than likely to win the game.

Pick: 49ers +7

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