In the third exhibition game of the preseason, the 49ers travel to Denver on Sunday to take on the Broncos. Fans can expect the first-team offenses and defenses of both teams to be on the field longer than compared to the past two games. The 49ers will get their first glimpse of Peyton Manning after Jim Harbaugh perused, courted…“evaluated” the quarterback in the off-season. With the first roster cuts on Monday, many players on both teams will be fighting for a roster spot, which will make for an exciting football game.
Niner Noise hooked up with Broncos fan website Predominantly Orange and its Editor Kim Constantinesco for a Q&A about the game and the state of both teams heading into the regular season. Here are Kim’s answers to our questions and below that you will find our answers. Enjoy!
Q. What was the reaction from fans after the Broncos signed Peyton and traded away Tebow? Is everybody now on board with Peyton? Or are a lot of Broncos fans now Jets fans?
A. The only way that John Elway could respectably usher Tebow out of town was to replace him with a future Hall of Famer, and so that’s what he did. Broncos fans are generally thrilled to have Manning aboard, but we’ve all got an eye on Tebow’s progress with the Jets as well. Tebow injected the spark back into Broncos football last season, now we’ve got Manning to carry the torch to what many feel could be a deep playoff run during his very first season here. I think Broncos fans don’t wish the Jets luck so much as they wish Tebow luck.
Q. What is the plan should Peyton get injured and he is out for a significant amount of time?
A. There is no solid “Plan B” at this point. The Broncos signed veteran and former Colorado State Ram Caleb Hanie, but we saw what kind of a backup Hanie was with the Bears. The Bears were 7-3 when Hanie took over for Jay Cutler last season, and he threw three INT’s in the first half of the first game he started, and was then replaced by Josh McCowen after losing three games in a row.
The Broncos drafted Brock Osweiler in the second round of the draft to be Manning’s replacement way down the road. The Arizona State product is strong and has good foot work, but no one knows how he would pan out as the team’s starting QB should something happen to Manning.
The Broncos could bring in another veteran QB to back up Manning if it comes down to it.
Q. With Tebow gone, can the Broncos repeat as the NFL’s best rushing team?
A. The Broncos will run a more balanced offense with the scales tipping in favor of the pass. Willis McGahee had a 1,000+ yard season last year, and with Manning opening the field up, we’re expecting another big year out of him. As for leading the league in rushing, it’s not likely to happen.
Q. Which AFC West team does Bronco fans fear the most?
A. It’s hard to tell at this point. The Chiefs are battling the injury bug and the Raiders have a new coach, so the Chargers seem to be the most stable team at the moment. Of course, Philip Rivers runs a solid offense, so that makes them contenders every year. Should most of the roster stay healthy, the Broncos shouldn’t have a problem wrapping up the division this year.
Niner Noises answers after the jump.