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Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will be on national television on Sunday afternoon in Week 3 of the NFL Preseason, going up against the San Francisco 49ers. It’s a matchup of two of the top favorites from both the AFC and NFC Conferences.
Manning and the Broncos are coming off of a 30-10 loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. It certainly wasn’t the quarterback’s best performance, as he threw two interceptions in the game, one of which came in the redzone.
It’s something that Manning said he will definitely focus on correcting, as those mistakes simply can’t happen come the regular season. But aside from that, Manning actually looks pretty good. His arm strength appears to be back, he moves around in the pocket well and he looks like his old self calling the plays from the line of scrimmage.
For San Francisco, the expectations really couldn’t be much higher coming into the 2012 season. Last season’s unexpected run to a 13-3 record and a berth in the NFC championship in Jim Harbaugh’s first season as the head coach has only spurned even higher goals. The 49ers are heavy favorites to win the NFC West in 2012, and once again make noise in the postseason.
San Francisco dropped to Houston 20-9 in Week 2 of the preseason last Saturday. Quarterback Alex Smith threw just nine passes, completing five of them for 49 yards. We expect Smith to play well into the first half in this game, and perhaps on into the third quarter.
The interesting battle has been at the running back position though. Obviously Frank Gore leads the way in this conversation, but between Kendall hunter, Anthony Dixon, and rookie LaMichael James, San Francisco has themselves quite a set of rushers in the offensive backfield.
We expect James to have a good rookie season contributing. The speedster is a nice compliment to Gore, and could be utilized quite a bit in the offensive schemes.
As for the match up with the Broncos, it’s Denver who gets the edge on the betting line on NFL Week 3 Preseason odds available at Bovada Sportsbook. The Broncos are going off as 1.5-point favorites over San Francisco. To cover, Denver will need to win by at least two points.
The Broncos and 49ers kick off at 4pm ET, with FOX picking up the national coverage. Check out these betting odds, as well as the rest of the Week 3 NFL preseason slate below.