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Broncos 49ers preseason: 34-0 shutout Game Balls

The Broncos knocked out and shut out the 49ers 34-0 in preseason action Sunday. That means the Broncos won! ... which means the Mile High Report staff gives out Game Balls! Alright lady and gentlemen, who ya got?!

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

LB Brandon Marshall

The backup Bronco was the story of the week after Danny Trevathan went down, filling in as starting weakside linebacker and the defense's signal caller. He filled those shoes admirably. Officially, Brandon Marshall co-led the team in tackles with five stops. It felt like he had more though, which is why I find it interesting that PFF graded him out to have seven stops. Marshall passed the eyeball test, looking natural out there, and further stats back up his success, such as the fact that the 49ers only averaged 1.8 yards per carry per Marshall tackle. - Monty

QB Brock Osweiler

It took three preseasons, but I personally am seeing something akin to a starting quarterback in Brock Osweiler. His touchdown strike to Cody Latimer was a thing of beauty. I almost thought I was still watching Peyton Manning with how he looked off the safety before throwing the touchdown pass. At the end of the day, Osweiler would finish 10/13, for 105 yards and a touchdown, besting Manning's 120.8 QB rating with 125.5. Not a bad day at the office for a three-year backup quarterback. - Tim Lynch

CB Omar Bolden

Bolden was the nickel corner for the Broncos because Chris Harris Jr and Kayvon Webster both sat out the game with injuries. Bolden took advantage of this and had a great game. He played tight coverage, helped out in the run, and just looked more confident then he has during his first two years as a Bronco. Bolden finished the game with 4 total tackles,1 assist and 1 would be interception that he dropped. Bolden has been having a solid camp and so far it's translated on the field, and I think he's earned himself a roster spot. - Scotty Payne

S Charles Mitchell

Charles Mitchell: Someone on this list will inevitably give their Game Ball to Brandon Marshall for leading the team in tackles, stepping in for the injured Danny Trevathan and seamlessly handling the play interpretation from the sideline. However, they will be wrong on at least one of those statistics; Charles Mitchell had five tackles as well, he was an indestructible kamikaze pilot out there at safety, cracking skulls and daring the 49ers to come across and step over the line again. Mitchell accounted for five solo tackles and at least three pain pills for unsuspecting members of San Francisco's offense. At one point in the game, he had three jarring hits in a row. You may not have noticed and Mitchell is certainly deep on the depth chart, but I guarantee Denver's coaching staff saw him and took note. - Ian Henson

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio

Preseason or not, a shutout is a shutout! How many times have we seen the Broncos dominate a game and be looking to pitch a shutout well into the 4th quarter, only to keep bending until they break and the next thing you know, they allow 3 or 7 or 10 points to finish the game? And all in the last 5 or so minutes of the 4th quarter no less? The answer of course is "too many times!" Well, not this time! Not in THEIR house! haha It takes pride and mental toughness to shut out a team. The Niners wanted to score and the Broncos knew that no matter what, they were going to win the game. This is where pride and desire comes in, and those traits start at the top. This shutout started during the offseason workouts and continued through mini camp and training camp. Del Rio has this team wanting to be a great defense. He has them wanting to leave their mark on the NFL and to have the Super Bowl bye week be about more than Peyton Manning and his record 63 touchdown passes! Well Jack, this is the way to get it done. I know it's "only preseason", but you'd be fooling yourself if you think Harbaugh and the Niners were perfectly content with that goose egg on the scoreboard in the inaugural game in their new $1.2 billion dollar stadium! You called a great game JDR, here's to more shutouts this season!

Side note: For all of you discounting Steven Johnson's interception last week because "all he had to do is catch it", how about you tell that to John Boyett. If he simply "caught" that ball, then the Niner's drive stalls at the 40 yard line and the shutout isn't ever in jeopardy! Players still have to make the play! That was my point last week! - Big Pete

WR Cody Latimer

He's been looking good in camp and has been a favorite target of Brock's, but it was impressive to see both of them put together a stunning touchdown play in the game against San Francisco. Latimer showed with that diving catch - not to mention that block on Antoine Bethea - that he's pro material and will likely be in the starting rotation sooner rather than later. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Notes Big Pete in the Game Balls email thread: "You just like him cause he has the same last name as you (well, almost). hahaha"

LB Steven Johnson

It's been a refreshing change this preseason to see the defense create turnovers. Steven Johnson is the lead man on that trend. Johnson finished yesterday's game with three tackles, a half sack, and pick. This also marks the second game in a row Johnson has notched an interception. His picks have come late in the game, making a huge difference in the outcome. It's exciting to see the depth blossom on the Broncos defense-even if it's just preseason. - Mr. East

WR Demaryius Thomas

In two weeks of limited action Demaryius has now caught 8 balls.  It is clear he is Peyton Manning's go to receiver and someone Manning will trust when things are not going well offensively.  If there is one weapon the Broncos could not afford to lose on the offensive side of the ball (besides Peyton Manning) it's Demaryius Thomas. - Bronco Mike