Broncos at 49ers: The No Bull Preseason Review

Mike Stobe

It is darn good to have football back. It is darn good to be able to put another review together too. Also for those of you in the local area wasn't it good to see Jake Plummer in the studio? Love that player. Glad to see him get involved in some way.

Just a heads up, the next couple games may be sketchy for me to review...they fall on times I have some pressing things going on. We may just have to wait for the regular season to see a stead stream of No Bull.


So the first thing to note was that our O-Line seriously sucked eggs. I know we are short some (Ryan Clady especially), but wow did they look bad in every aspect: run blocking, pass blocking. They really have some serious work to do.

  • Yeah it was the 9ers and yeah they have a great line, but that's the test you want in the preseason. I'm not terribly worried, but this is a spot to watch in the next few games.
  • On our first series we had 6 blockers in on a 5 man pass rush and got destroyed. This play was pretty indicative of what we saw all game long even into the 2nd half.
  • Manny Ramirez specifically got beat very badly twice that I caught (and no it wasn't the play where they sent a guy at both A gaps).

Brock Osweiler got a ton of reps this game. I really wish our line would have done better so we could see more of what he can bring, but even then I thought we got a decent look at him and was keeping a close eye on his play when he was in.

  • Brock hung out Robinson with a fairly bad throw on an out route early. If he gets that pass down to the shoulder it was a chance for a big gain.
  • Not long after that he made a perfect pass under pressure right over Julius Thomas' shoulder.
  • He did tend to look much too quickly to run the ball instead of hanging in and looking for his next read. I blame this somewhat on the poor line play, but it is about instincts and desire - he was desiring to rabbit instead of to throw.
  • Under a minute to go in the 1st Oz threw a check-down to Knowshon Moreno that was pretty dumb. There were two defenders in the area and absolutely no chance for Knowshon to get out or get a 1st down.
  • In the 3rd quarter Brock got more time and rhythm and was looking much better. He wasn't getting further than his 2nd read most of the time though.

I was pretty impressed with Virgil Greene's catch for about 12 in the first half. He made a tough catch and hung on through a big hit.

Julius Thomas passed my eye test...but then again this is a preseason game. He's always good before the regular season starts right?

  • His blocking was up and down (I saw as much poor play as I did great play).
  • His routes looked sharp as usual.
  • I think I'll be more excited about him if I see more of him in the next few games.

The backs were especially difficult to read. Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball looked like junk because they had absolutely NOTHING to work with. I don't feel we got any answers this week at RB.

  • Montee missed two easy cut backs that I saw though. I hope his vision gets better...
  • Knowshon had a similar situation, but looked a lot better even getting in a very decent 10+ run when he got daylight.
  • Knowshon looked better just like I thought he would, but the jury is completely out because of the line play.
  • CJ Anderson deserves mention on his own. He looked pretty darn good running against the scrubs. I want to see him get time with the firsts before I get excited about him much. The biggest thing I take away is that he was a far superior option than Lance Ball in the game. Lance got runs against the same scrubs and couldn't do anything other than look incompetent (I know...this isn't news to most of us).


The 9ers starters looked very good against our defense for the most part. This was mainly due to their line dominance in the run game and them picking on Bradley Stewart in the pass game. It is worth noting they weren't playing very vanilla like you would expect from a typical preseason game.

Stewart Bradley got some starting snaps and left me wanting. His game looked eerily similar to one Joe Mays to be honest, but it wasn't all bad.

  • Early in the game Bradley stuffed a run due to great vision and decisiveness. This is a big bonus to be fair as Mays didn't show the same thing...Mays would look good when he had a gap to plug, but not so much when he needed to read and react.
  • Bradley looked slow and inept in his pass coverage. It doesn't help that the 9ers schemed against him using a mismatch of Anquan Bolden to make him look silly. I'd like to see Stewart cover against typical TE's in future games.

It was nice to see Von Miller on the field for a few snaps. If you missed his spin move on 3rd down you should try to rewatch the game and catch was filthy.

Omar Bolden to my eyes really hurt himself in this game as far as the depth chart goes. I counted at least three times where he took bad angles / tried weak arm tackles that were completely ineffective. We have enough depth at CB that I'm honestly writing him off based off of it (good thing I'm just a fan, right?). His play was pretty poor compared to others on the field.

Nate Irving really represented himself well in this game. I'd like to see him get a start next week against Seattle's 1s. His forced fumble was a beauty of a play. It was similar to Bradley's earlier play, but more impactful and showed the same skills. The difference between the two is that Irving looked better in pass coverage (could be that he didn't get picked on though).

Let's give Steven Johnson a little props though. He looked very solid in pass coverage late in the game. Take it with a grain of salt, but its worth mentioning.

Malik Jackson impressed me with his hand fighting on two different plays. He was close to a sack on one and caused a hurry on the other.

Mike Adams made a very solid INT. Later in the game though he could have taken an outside angle to keep a runner in bounds inside 40 seconds to play, but didn't. That was a dumb football move.

Last, but not least for the defensive notes we have Duke Ihenacho. The football gods appear to have answered our prayers. Everything I hoped to see from Quenten Carter is on display from MrAs . Jalapeno himself. I absolutely loved his game. He was everywhere the ball was and was making impactful plays. I'm sure most of Broncos country is cheering for him, but I'm about to go buy a Nacho T-Shirt. Keep up the great work Duke!

Special Teams

Matt Prater hit a 40+ yard FG. That's worth noting. Also worth noting his kickoffs looked like dog crap. This isn't news to many of us who aren't Prater fans. I still think it is a crying shame he doesn't have competition this year.

Trindon Holliday looked like the same guy from last year, but at least he didn't fumble. I don't know what to think of the 1 yard field job. My common sense tells me it was uber stupid even in a preseason game. Inside the 5 you should just let it go. But I can see what people have said about him needing pressure practice. I can buy that maybe...I still think it is the right thing to have him on the team and it is the right thing to give him lots of preseason reps fielding stuff.


This is probably the 2nd most meaningless game in the preseason. You can rank games 2 or 3 as #1 based on what you are looking for. But the first game is more about knocking the rust off and getting some reps for the young guns trying to make the team. The most important thing for this game is that no one gets injured. Thankfully we were blessed with that mark this week. Duke, CJ, and Nate were my big winners this week. Stewart, Omar, and Lance were my big losers.

Go Broncos!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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