Three numbers to know for Denver Broncos-San Francisco 49ers

Sep 24, 2022, 3:34 PM | Updated: 3:34 pm

Jeff Wilson...

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

In the Broncos’ locker room this week, the notion of stopping the 49ers’ run first was prominent.

It’s not that the San Francisco 49ers can’t be effective through the air. But when the 49ers offense has hummed best under Kyle Shanahan, it has usually relied upon the ground game.

And that’s where the first number today becomes relevant:



The percentage that is the magic number for the 49ers when it comes to run-pass ratio. When San Francisco runs on at least 56 percent of its plays under Shanahan, they are 16-0. In all other games under Shanahan, they’re 29-44.

On the flip side of that, the 49ers are 7-38 in the Shanahan era when they do not run on at least 45 percent of their snaps.

No doubt, it’s a chicken-and-egg conundrum. You run to keep a lead. But the 49ers don’t ditch the run if the game is within one score; they can be patient. But if the Broncos force the 49ers out of their prized ground game, they put the onus on Jimmy Garoppolo — where they want it.



This isn’t just the beginning of pi, but it’s also the average per-game number of holding penalties called since 2020 by officiating crews led by Shawn Hochuli, who will referee Sunday’s game.

But on the positive side, Hochuli’s average of 2.08 false starts per game since 2020 ranks eighth among 17th currently active referees. He also calls the third-fewest delay-of-game penalties among active referees since 2020 — 0.42 per game. Delay-of-game remains a subjective call.

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If Denver has a plus-2 turnover margin, you can likely put this one in the win column.
San Francisco’s record under Shanahan with a minus-2-or-worse turnover margin is a meager 1-21. Even being minus-1 hasn’t hurt the 49ers much; they’re 8-8 since 2017 with an even turnover margin.


Other numbers of note:

  • San Francisco is 8-0 when Garoppolo starts and completes at least 75 percent of his passes. When he completes more than 70 percent of his attempts, the 49ers are 16-2. But the 49ers are 2-5 when Garoppolo doesn’t hit the 60-percent mark.
  • Time of possession doesn’t matter as much as it once did, but it matters to the 49ers, who are 14-1 under Shanahan when possessing the football for at least 35 minutes.
  • Opponents are 25-6 against the Shanahan-led 49ers when running the ball more than 46 percent of the time.



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Three numbers to know for Denver Broncos-San Francisco 49ers