The 49ers face off against the Broncos on Sunday Night Football in Week 3, and it’s fair to say the Niners have some distinct edges in this matchup.
The San Francisco 49ers originally opened up as road underdogs for their Week 3 matchup against the 1-1 Denver Broncos. Still, perhaps oddsmakers have recognized just how many issues Denver is dealing with under first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett over two games into the young 2022 season.
According to the oddsmakers at WynnBET, the Niners are 1.5-point road favorites.
Granted, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson owns a 16-4 career regular-season record against San Francisco, yet all those games came back when he was with the Seattle Seahawks and fully immersed in that NFC West rivalry.
Perhaps Wilson’s new digs present the opportunity for the 49ers to flip the script, finally.
The Broncos coughed up an embarrassing loss to Wilson’s old team in Week 1 before narrowly squeaking by the lowly Houston Texans at home in Week 2, presenting the opportunity for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad to proverbially “lay it on” this Sunday.
Pound for pound, it’s probably safe to argue the Niners are more of a complete team, and despite being on the road at a mile-high elevation for a prime-time bout on Sunday Night Football, one might expect San Francisco to utilize these four specific advantages in Week 3.
49ers advantage No. 4: Broncos are being hit by penalty bug in a big way
The 49ers were hit with a whopping 12 penalties for 99 yards during their Week 1 loss against the Chicago Bears, and many have argued that’s a primary reason why that particular bout didn’t turn into a win.
Yet the Niners corrected this, being flagged just once during their Week 2 victory over the Hawks.
Still, if one is wondering whether or not San Francisco’s issues with yellow flags are bad, one needs to look no further than what Hackett and the Broncos are dealing with.
Through two weeks, Denver leads the league with an astounding 25 penalties against, including 10 of the pre-snap variety, and those can be awfully perplexing.
Sign of poor coaching? We’ll get to that in a moment.
On top of that, the Broncos’ 171 penalty yards against rank second only behind the Texans’ 189, whereas the 49ers’ own cleanup efforts have resulted in just 130 penalty yards through two weeks.