SANTA CLARA (CBS SF/AP) — The 49ers beat the Broncos on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium behind a terrific, record-breaking game from tight end George Kittle. Kittle broke the 49ers single-game receiving record for a tight end with 210 yards and he reached the 1,000 yard milestone on the season.
Kittle had seven receptions in all on nine targets.
Kittle finished just shy of Shannon Sharpe’s NFL record by a tight end of 214 yards receiving, not having a catch nor as many chances in the second half.
His long TD reception on a pass from Nick Mullens early in the second quarter put the Niners up 13-0 — and Denver (6-7) never found a groove in seeing its three-game winning streak snapped.
Broncos quarterback Case Keenum struggled to find any rhythm after the Broncos lost top wideout Emmanuel Sanders to a torn Achilles tendon in practice during the week.
Dante Pettis added a 1-yard touchdown reception just before halftime for the Niners (3-10).
But this was Kittle’s sparkling afternoon from the very start. He has provided a major lift for an offense that dealt with the blow of losing starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Week 3 at Kansas City.
Mullens connected on eight of his first 12 throws for 124 yards and wound up 20 of 33 for 332 yards and a 102.1 rating.
San Francisco ended a three-game skid. The 49ers had lost their previous two games by 18 and 27 points, including a 43-16 defeat at rival Seattle last week.
The previous time any 49ers player had 1,000 yards was in 2014, when Anquan Boldin had 1,062 yards receiving and Frank Gore 1,106 yards rushing.
In addition, Kittle’s 52-yard catch and run to end the first quarter moved him past Vernon Davis for the 49ers franchise record for yards receiving by a tight end in a season.
Kittle came in needing 73 yards to top Davis’ mark of 965 yards set in 2009.
On San Francisco’s nine-play opening scoring drive — capped by Robbie Gould’s 40-yard field goal — Kittle made receptions of 31 and 5 yards.
Gould made a 29-yarder early in the second.
ANOTHER KEY RECEPTION
Niners left tackle Joe Staley celebrated a rare catch, third of his 12-year career, late in the first half when he got his hands on a tipped pass by a defender.
Broncos: Cornerback Isaac Yiadom suffered a shoulder injury. Wideout Courtland Sutton nursed a thigh injury.
49ers: Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon landed hard on his left leg late in the game when he went down defending a pass on the sideline.
The 49ers will host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.