It is a rare case in the NFL when a team loses its starting quarterback and then winds up with a better chance of winning. But that may be the situation with the San Francisco 49ers, who watched as their “quarterback of the future” went down with an injury and are now “forced” to use a signal-caller who could prove to be very much a man of the moment.
The Denver Broncos may be a pretty rough opponent for Jimmy Garoppolo as he comes off the bench to assume the starting role in place of Trey Lance. Of course, the Broncos are now being directed by Russell Wilson, who left a controversial situation in Seattle and failed to make a triumphant return in the season opener.
So now we actually may have an improved storyline as these teams meet in the NBC-televised game slated for 8:20 PM ET in Denver.
In the Sunday Night NFL betting odds posted at BetOnline, the Niners are slightly favored:-
San Francisco 49ers -1.5 (-108)
Denver Broncos +1.5 (-112)
Over 44.5 points -110
Under 44.5 points -110
When you’re watching the game, don’t forget that you can make live wagers. Just look for “Live Betting” at the top of the NFL sportsbook interface!
The 49ers got to the Super Bowl with Garoppolo as their quarterback, but that didn’t prevent them from taking Trey Lance with the third pick of the 2021 draft. And it was their every intention to hand him the job; maybe not in his first season but certainly his second. That plan held even after Garoppolo brought the Niners to the brink of another Super Bowl appearance last year. Plus, Jimmy G had to have surgery on his shoulder in the off-season.
Lance was going to have a learning curve – that much was certain. And after his first start against the Chicago Bears, there was not much of a conclusion that could be drawn, except that he didn’t perform all that well in bad weather. Then he had to be removed against Seattle with a broken ankle. Garoppolo came in and went 13 for 21 with 154 yards.
Now he has a full week taking practice snaps with the first team. And his teammates are not all that unhappy about it. Let’s face it; Garoppolo is the best choice for a team that wants to compete for a playoff spot NOW. And we assume that the players on this team would rather win now than at some other time. BetOnline should look for a more spirited effort on offense than it was in the first two games.
Garoppolo will admittedly not have all his weapons on hand. Elijah Mitchell, who did such a good job out of the backfield last season, will be missing five or six games with an MCL injury. But you know, the Niners can compensate with uber-weapon Deebo Samuel lined up sometimes in the backfield, and on top of that, All-Pro tight end George Kittle will make his season debut after missing the first two games.
Denver has some pretty good metrics. They currently lead the NFL in yardage per drive over the first two games. They have a strong rushing game, with Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, and playmakers on the outside with Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. And, of course, there is Wilson, who was the best available option for them at quarterback.
But they have not been able to push the ball over the goal line. In fact, they have come up empty on all their red zone trips (no TD). And first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett has felt insecure enough that he has brought on an assistant to help him with game management.
The Broncos may get it all together on offense at some point. For the time being, though, we’ll look for something crisp from a 49er team that has its preferred field leader back. In this near pick ’em, we’re with the visiting team.
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