The San Francisco 49ers were defeated by the Denver Broncos by a score of 42-17 on Sunday Night Football. The 49ers are now 4-3 and trail the Arizona Cardinals (5-1) by 1.5 games in the NFC West division. This loss halted a three-game winning streak by the 49ers.
Peyton Manning controlled the first half with three touchdown passes, setting a new record for all-time touchdown throws. He was able to hit Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas with two of those throws happening on third down inside the red zone.
Colin Kaepernick had trouble in the first half, there were four drops by Michael Crabtree (2), Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin combined. However, he led the 49ers to 10 points with impressive throws in each possession.
Boldin dropped a pass which would have been a touchdown, but the 49ers settled for a short field goal by Phil Dawson as their first score. The 49ers were able to utilize six different players who caught a pass in the first half alone.
Right before halftime as Manning set the new record with 509 career touchdown passes, Kaepernick engineered an 80-yard drive which included a 37-yard pass to Brandon Lloyd on third and 18. He finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson and the 49ers left the second quarter trailing 21-10.
After momentum appeared to be shifting the 49ers way after that touchdown, the defense forced a three and out. However, Colin Kaepernick made his first mistake of the night with an interception to Aqib Talib. The Broncos immediately capitalized on this with a 40-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas for his fourth of the night, which set the record at 510 career touchdown passes.
Another three and out by San Francisco and Denver responded again with a 37-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Hillman as the rout was on. Hillman added another touchdown to make it 42-10, which was tied for the largest amount of points the 49ers have allowed since 2012.
This wasn’t just a costly game on the scoreboard, but also for the roster. OL Daniel Kilgore (leg) and CB Chris Cook (hamstring) were lost for the game with uncertainty going forward with the former being carted off. Dillon Farrell became the center before he also took an exit and Joe Looney played both center and guard. Jonathan Martin also played his first NFL snap at the guard position.
The 49ers will be on a bye for next week as several players hope to get healthy. They will see the St. Louis Rams in Week 9 on November 2.
-Colin Kaepernick has now thrown a touchdown in 14 consecutive regular season games dating back to last year.
-Patrick Willis, Mike Iupati, Jimmie Ward and Chris Culliver were all inactive on Sunday.