Vernon Kay looks ahead to San Francisco’s trip to Mile High on Sunday night and their meeting with the Denver Broncos.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is just two shy of breaking Brett Favre’s all-time record for the most touchdown passes and will be looking to achieve that feat at Sports Authority Field this weekend.
The 49ers against the Broncos is a huge game for several reasons. The main reason is the fact that Peyton Manning has the opportunity to surpass Brett Favre’s record for most touchdown passes thrown by a quarterback.
At the moment Manning has got 506 and needs a couple more to equal the record of 508. But if he was to score three touchdowns on Sunday night live on Channel 4, then he will become the NFL’s all-time leading touchdown passer.
Peyton Manning has an opportunity to break Brett Favre’s record for most touchdown passes ever on Sunday
Denver Broncos fans celebrate Manning’s 500th touchdown pass, which he threw against Arizona
Manning has got a trio of exceptional receivers in tight end Julius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. He is the leader of that offense and, if you speak to anyone who knows American football over in the States, they’ll tell you that he is more like an offensive coordinator or head coach. He is a phenomenal American footballer, not only physically with his ability to throw the ball, but mentally that he knows the game so well.
In my opinion, he is not the best quarterback ever. I think he is exceptional and one of the best we will ever see. But if asked me ‘which quarterback would you have on their day?’ I would pick Tom Brady. I know it is a team game and not all down to one man, but Brady has won three Super Bowls and Manning has won one.
Manning would definitely be in my top three, though, and the other one is Brett Favre. When Favre was playing, he was so devoted to the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and even the New York Jets.
Manning needs just three more touchdown passes to break Favre’s record for most touchdown passes
The Denver quarterback has a number of high-class receivers, including Demaryius Thomas (right)
The San Francisco 49ers travel to Sports Authority Field on the back of three straight victories
NFL SUNDAY FIXTURES
Atlanta at Baltimore, 6pm
Minnesota at Buffalo, 6pm
Miami at Chicago, 6pm
New Orleans at Detroit, 6pm
Carolina at Green Bay, 6pm
Cincinnati at Indianapolis, 6pm
Cleveland at Jacksonville, 6pm
Seattle at St Louis, 6pm
Tennessee at Washington, 6pm
Kansas City at San Diego, 9.05pm
New York Giants at Dallas, 9.25pm
Arizona at Oakland, 9.25pm
San Francisco at Denver, 1.30am
The Super Bowl defeat by the Seattle Seahawks in February is a chip on Manning’s shoulder that will be eating him away. He had such a wonderful season in 2013, but then to get absolutely destroyed the way he did against the Seahawks will not sit easily for a player like Manning. The Seahawks admitted that they studied Manning and everything he does, even where he looks prior to the snap. They analysed all his physical movements, body language and just shut him down.
It’s going to be a tough game for the Broncos on Sunday because one of the surprise packages in the NFL on defense this season is the 49ers secondary. They lost a couple of star players in the off-season but, so far, they are playing really well and are very difficult to pass against.
This 49ers defense is quite special. If you look at Ahmad Brooks and Justin Smith, they have got three sacks each this season. I have said it before and I will say it again – I think Justin Smith is one of the best defensive linemen in the league. He is physical, he is strong, he is dominant and whoever you put in front of him is going to face a really tough test.
Tom Brady, who has won three Super Bowls in New England, guided the Patriots to a 27-25 win over the Jets
Favre, pictured in action in 1999, won the Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers in 1997
Manning leaves the field after Denver’s Super Bowl crushing by the Seattle Seahawks in February
On offense, San Francisco’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick is one of the most agile and mobile in the league. I think he is the best of this new breed of quarterbacks. With the read option, he doesn’t mind being hit or tackled, a bit like Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Kaepernick is like a 12th man on the field because he has the capability to run down the field. That is something the Broncos defense will have to adjust to.
If DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller can contain the outside then it should be easier for the Denver defense to keep Kaepernick in the pocket. But it is always difficult for teams to do that because he is such a good runner of the football.
The 49ers have got so much talent. I tried to read up on what is going on in their locker room and it may just be the way coach Jim Harbaugh relays his tactics and speaks to his team.
Denver duo Demarcus Ware and Von Miller chase down New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (right) talks to his quarterback Colin Kaepernick
Frank Gore (left) is second on the list of most rushing yards among active players in the NFL
There is so much talent on that team and Kaepernick has thrown 10 touchdowns to six different receivers. You can’t predict where he is going to throw the ball because stats show he is capable of throwing to anyone. They have also got Frank Gore at running back, who is second on the list of most rushing yards among active players behind only Steven Jackson.
One thing about the Broncos is that they always seem to start slow and then pull away. Against the 49ers, they need to have a really good first half.
Vernon Kay presents NFL: The American Football Show, Mondays at 11.50pm on Channel 4. This Sunday night Channel 4 will broadcast live coverage of the San Francisco 49ers against the Denver Broncos.
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