What it means: The 49ers enter their bye week on a high note and with a quarterback, Troy Smith, who made big plays when a game was close, not just after falling behind. The down time should give Smith time to get more in sync with his receivers and the offense overall. Winning this game makes it easier for 49ers ownership to stick with Mike Singletary through the bye week and beyond, should the organization decide to stay the course.
What I liked: The 49ers didn't quit or come out flat despite following up a difficult defeat with a flight to London. They scored 21 fourth-quarter points and survived a few shaky moments to win for the second time this season. Their defense roughed up Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, contained the Broncos' running game and stopped making mindless mistakes. Frank Gore rushed for 118 yards and a 4.1-yard average.
What I didn't like: The 49ers missed tackles and got snookered by a flea-flicker that could have proven disastrous if a chop-block penalty hadn't nullified the Broncos' touchdown.
Injury of note: Tight end Vernon Davis left the game with an ankle injury. Defensive end Justin Smith limped off late in the game. He seemed to be playing quite well in this game. Several impact plays stood out.
Tomorrow's Talker: Should Troy Smith remain the starter even if Alex Smith is healthy? It's tough to argue against Troy Smith following a victory. He scrambled for a touchdown and made an improbable 38-yard completion to Delanie Walker while getting driven onto his back. He averaged 10.3 yards per passing attempt with a 115.2 rating.
What's next: The 49ers have a bye in Week 9, followed by a home game against the St. Louis Rams.