The San Francisco 49ers brought back Super Bowl memories. For the Denver Broncos, they were bad ones.

With the NFC West title and a first-round bye already in hand, the 49ers locked up home-field advantage through the playoffs by defeating the Denver Broncos 42-19 Saturday."The 49ers are as good as advertised," Denver coach Wade Phillips said. "Dallas is awfully good, but San Francisco looked like the team we played in the Super Bowl in '89 when they killed us (55-10)."

Both teams haven't been back since, though San Francisco has come close, losing the past two NFC championship games to Dallas.

Now Steve Young and a reconstructed defense have the 49ers in position again for the drive toward the team's fifth title.

"I feel like we're a team of destiny," San Francisco tackle Steve Wallace said. "In big games, we've been making plays when we had to, and when you have situations like that, you get a feeling sometimes that, `Hey, maybe this is our year.' That's what I feel like now."

"We're working toward perfection. We want to get so close that nobody will be able to tell the difference," added 49ers running back Ricky Watters, who had three scores.

Against the Broncos, the 49ers remained the hottest team in the league, winning their 10th straight, and Young remained the hottest quarterback.

He completed 20 of 29 throws for 350 yards and three touchdowns in just three quarters as the 49ers became the top-scoring club in franchise history. San Francisco's 491 points in 15 games topped the previous record of 475 by the 1984 Super Bowl team.

San Francisco (13-2) has outscored opponents by an average of 36.4 to 16.5 during the streak.

"This is us. This is our standard," said Young, who completed passes to nine different receivers. "And to me, the good thing is everyone is touching the football. Everyone is feeling a part of this thing. Going into the playoffs, there's no better feeling, really, than, `Hey who you going to cover? Who you going to take away?' "

Denver dropped to 7-8 and was eliminated from playoff contention.

John Elway, still bothered by a twisted left knee, had limited mobility and left the game early in the third quarter after being sacked six times.

"I wanted to see what I could do," said Elway, who missed last week's game. "When I realized I was having trouble was when they were coming so hard and I couldn't get out of the way. At that point, I told Hugh he'd do a better job. I took myself out."

Before being relieved by Hugh Millen, Elway was intercepted by Deion Sanders. He also fumbled on his first play from scrimmage, setting up a 49ers' score.

Millen helped Denver to a pair of third-quarter scores and extended his string of consecutive completions to 20 over two games before missing on a throw early in the fourth quarter to fall two shy of Joe Montana's NFL record.

Young had the NFC's top-ranked offense on the move quickly, and the 49ers took a 21-0 lead in the game's first 16 minutes.

He completed six of seven throws on the opening drive, capped by Watters' one-handed grab of a 12-yard pass for a touchdown. It was Young's 32nd scoring pass of the season, breaking Montana's previous club mark of 31 in 1987.

Young, closing in on his fourth straight passing title, has thrown for 25 TDs to just three interceptions over the past 10 games.

Jerry Rice cut through the Denver secondary for 121 yards on nine catches, including a 23-yard touchdown catch that put San Francisco up 14-0 less than six minutes into the game.

"We ran into a great football team," Elway said. "They're an offensive machine. They're definitely the team to beat at this point."