The Denver Broncos take on the San Francisco 49ers in their second preseason game of the 2016 season and first under the bright lights of Sports Authority Field at Mile High. It was Trevor Siemian night.
Siemian is up first, with Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch to follow at the quarterback position. This game should go a long way in determining the eventual starting Broncos quarterback.
After a week of chippy practice sessions between the two teams, they finally took the field in a (somewhat) meaningful game.
Trevor Siemian’s turn.
The Broncos receive the opening ticket after the 49ers chose to defer when they won the opening coin toss. Kahlif Raymond with the ill-advised return after taking the kickoff from 9 yards deep in the endzone to just the 14 yard line.
The first possession for the Broncos led to Trevor Siemian with two quick completions, one to Emmanuel Sanders for a solid gain and an intermediate pass to Virgil Green for nearly a 20 yard gain. A quick screen pass to Green again gets the Broncos past midfield.
The opening drive nearly stalled with a Siemian sack, but it was negated by a defensive holding penalty. A few plays later C.J. Anderson broke loose for a 20 yard touchdown run to cap a nice 86 yard opening drive for the Broncos.
Broncos 7, 49ers 0.
Comparing apples to apples, Siemian looked far more crisp on his opening drive as the starting quarterback than Mark Sanchez did against the Chicago Bears. Both drives ended with a touchdown, though.
On the 49ers opening possession, Derek Wolfe blows up a first down run and Todd Davis puts the pass rush on Blaine Gabbert to force a throw away on third down.
Siemian lined up for his second drive with a couple of quick passes and runs, which brought the Broncos all the way up to midfield. C.J. Anderson finally took a breather and it was rookie Devontae Booker who came in to spell him.
The Broncos offense went kind of conservative and we unable to convert a third down near midfield and had to punt it away. Britton Colquitt pinned the 49ers back inside the 10 yard line, giving the Broncos defense plenty of room to work with.
The 49ers try to run the hurry-up offense to get the Broncos defense off balance. Wolfe and Von Miller stuff a run after a 9 yard pass play to open up the drive. On third down, they tried to run the ball again and barely succeeded in getting it.
Tight ends looking like the Broncos defense Achilles heel as another positive pass play by a tight end took the 49ers out past the 35 yard line. However, with no run game and the No Fly Zone, teams will often find themselves in third and long situations. On third and seven, Chris Harris Jr. tackles another pass to a tight end two yards short of the first down.
Bralon Addison fielded a dangerous punt, but was still able to advance the ball a few yards before being tackled.
Siemian took the field for the Broncos third drive of the day late in the first quarter. After a short pass to Sanders, Booker took a handoff for a nice gainer out to near midfield to end the first quarter.
After a false start by Booker, Siemian tossed an ugly pick six to Eric Reid who returned it 42 yards for the touchdown. After a solid first drive, a so-so second drive, his third drive ended in disaster.
Broncos 7, 49ers 7.
Siemian took his next snap and immediately hands off to Booker for a seven yard gain. Then his next snap went immediately to Booker too for a first down. Then his third snap also went to Booker for a gain of a couple. Darrion Weems was injured on the play and was helped off. He walked gingerly off the field. The Broncos will want to know what comes from that.
The 49ers seemed to have Siemian rattled a bit and are bringing the pressure. Siemian chucking the some bad passes, which ended the drive.
A terrible 34-yard punt from Riley Dixon set the 49ers up with good field position. Most of the Broncos first team defense left the game at this point.
Marshall, Williams, Ward, Stewart, Harris, Miller look like they're done for the night.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 21, 2016
On the first play of their next drive, Todd Davis was beaten on a 17 yard pass. He saved the big play by pushing the player out of bounds. The damage already done as 49ers are past midfield.
Carlos Hyde ripped off a 20 yard gain, which puts the 49ers in field goal range. 49ers tight end, Vance McDonald, takes a 19 yard pass down inside the 10 yard line for a first and goal.
Broncos inside linebacker Corey Nelson was injured on the play and came off the field with some sort of arm injury.
Hyde took the next handoff in for a four yard touchdown run.
49ers 14, Broncos 7.
Mark Sanchez’s turn.
After a quick toss to Booker, Sanchez hit on a 24-yard strike to Cody Latimer for a big first down. The 49ers bit hard on the play-action. A few plays later on third and six, Sanchez hit Jordan Taylor for a first down. Taylor climbed the latter to haul it in. Tack on a roughing the passer penalty and the Broncos are in field goal range.
On the next play, Sanchez threw deep to Latimer in the end zone. However, the refs called offensive passing interference on the play. That setup a first and twenty for the Broncos.
After a throwaway, Sanchez hit tight end John Phillips for a nine yard game to setup a third and 11. Sanchez took a sack to end the drive.
Brandon McManus closed the gap with a field goal.
49ers 14, Broncos 10.
Shaquill Barrett makes a mistake and allowed the 49ers to break containment for a big gain of 19 yards. After a few more solid runs, Gabbert hits on a big 25 yard pass down inside field goal range.
The 49ers offensive line pushing the Broncos defensive line around.
49ers getting a good push off the snap against the Broncos' DL this series. Winn & Gotsis the DEs; Peko at NT.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 21, 2016
.They finally stiffen at their own 9 yard line, stuffing a third and two handoff to force a field goal attempt. Darius Kilgo came up with the big run stop.
49ers, 17, Broncos 10.
With just under 3 minutes to go in the half, the Broncos and Sanchez got one more chance to put some points on the board.
Raymond had a terrible kickoff return, which could seal his fate with the team. Sanchez, in the shadow of his own end zone, hit Green down the middle for a good gain to the 26-yard line to take things to the two-minute warning.
Green caught another pass out to the 44-yard line and got out of bounds. Sanchez in the hurry-up, Booker ran for seven yards out past midfield. Sanchez hit Taylor on a seven yard gain, who get out of bounds as well. The 49ers defense were clearly on their heels.
After a few more quick plays, the Broncos finally take a timeout at the 49ers 30 yard line with 56 seconds left in the half. Well within field goal range, Sanchez nearly throws a pick on the next play.
Jordan Norwood got into the action with a with a 17 yard pass to the 49ers 13 yard line. That setup a strip sack of Sanchez, ending whatever hope the Broncos thought they had at scoring before halftime.
Instead of downing the ball, the 49ers played. On the first play, they fumble and the Broncos recover. Zaire Anderson came up with the big play, Billy Winn recovered it.
After two consecutive failed fades to Jordan Taylor in the end zone, Sanchez let himself get strip sacked again. The 49ers take it from there and into halftime.
Sanchez has three turnovers in just under two quarters of play this preseason. To put it mildly, that will not do, not at all.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 21, 2016
The 49ers got the ball first. Jeff Driskel takes over at quarterback for the 49ers in the second half. Zaire Anderson forced his second fumble of the game, where the ball was promptly recovered by Adam Gotsis.
On the first Broncos play, Sanchez throws behind Latimer and its tipped up in air in a dangerous way. Sanchez’s next throw is nearly picked off and the Mile High crowd begins booing Sanchez.
A false start penalty, put the Broncos into a 3rd and 15. Sanchez overthrew DeVier Posey. The Broncos were in field goal range with the turnover, but Gary Kubiak and the coaching staff wanted to evaluate the punt unit, so they sent out the punt team. Colquitt punted it away down to the 49ers eleven yard line.
The 49ers followed up with a three and out as Dekoda Watson and Will Parks brought the heat with a sack on third down.
Paxton Lynch’s turn.
Maybe the #Broncos ah-ha moment is realizing they can get similar or better production from a rookie first round Quarterback.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 21, 2016
With that, Ronnie Hillman takes the first handoff from Paxton Lynch for a nice gain of 11 yards. After another Hillman four yard gain, Lynch sails a pass over the head of tight end John Phillips. On third down, Lynch takes a sack to end the drive.
The 49ers and Broncos trade three and outs, with Lynch getting sacked again to and their drive.
It wasn’t a good start for the rookie first round pick.
Driskel threw a bomb of 40 yards to the Broncos 12 yard line, but Watson came3 up with another huge play by forcing a fumble at the goal line where the Broncos defense recovered in the end zone.
Lynch goes into shotgun mode, but Hillman dropped an easy pass. Posey followed up with a solid catch for 11 yards for a first down. Another 11 yard gain to Henry Krieger Coble sets up another first down on their own 42 yard line.
On third and 10, Lynch fires a laser to Taylor for a 15 yard first down gain down to the 49ers 43 yard line. After gaining six yards on two quick plays, Lynch misses on a home run ball. The defense was offsides, so the free play results in a first down anyway.
Lynch spun away from a certain sack and was able to run away from it for a big eight yard gain to setup third and short.
Kapri Bibbs took the handoff for the first down, with an outside run of 16 yards to setup a first and goal for the Broncos at the 49ers 8 yard line.
On a bootleg, Lynch hits the tight end John Phillips on a beautiful throw for the touchdown to cap a fantastic 13-play 80 yard drive.
Broncos 17, 49ers 17.
The 49ers get a first down to close out the quarter on their next drive.
After another first down gain, Christian Ponder tries for a homerun ball and had the pass broken up by John Tidwell. They still got another first down, but on the next set of downs were stopped on third down and short. However, Kendall Gaskins picked up the short run play for the first down.
Ponder faked everyone out, taking a bootleg 22 yards for the touchdown run. Eddie Yarborough abandoned his assignment allowing Ponder to break containment.
49ers 24, Broncos 17.
Lynch takes the first snap avoiding the pass rush for a three yard gain up the middle. The Broncos offensive line was porous in the second half. Bralon Addison drops a perfect pass from Lynch to force a punt.
The 49ers offense is dominating the fourth quarter as they ripped off a huge run on first down up the middle. Ponder continues shredding the Broncos defense with a 23 yard pass to cross midfield down to the Broncos 34 yard line. Two plays later, Ponder hits Dres Anderson for a 30 yard touchdown pass.
Well that was too easy. #Broncos defense getting shredded right now...by Christian Ponder.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 21, 2016
49ers 31, Broncos 17.
Lynch opens up with a screen pass to Addison for a 9 yard gain. The Broncos needed to get this drive going with 5 minutes left in the game. Lynch got the ball to Krieger Coble for a first down out to near midfield.
Kapri Bibbs took the next handoff across the 50 to the 49ers 47 yard line. On the next play, Lynch was hit as he threw a deep fade that was perfectly thrown. The pass misfired, but it was impressive nonetheless. Fortunately, the Broncos got a first down anyway on a neutral zone infraction.
The Broncos offensive line continues to be terrible in pass protection, with Lynch getting his from behind hard. Unlike Sanchez, Lynch held onto the football on that play. On third and 12, Lynch gets pressured out of bounds. The 49ers defenders unload with a dirty hit on Lynch drawing the personal foul.
A pass for no gain and a deep incompletion, setup another third and long for Paxton Lynch and the Broncos offense. Lynch hit Durron Neal on a slant for a fuve yard gain, which put them into a fourth down situation with just under three minutes to go in the game.
On fourth down, Lynch makes a quick throw to Mose Fraiser for a first down at the 49ers 21 yard line. Lynch threw a dart to Neal down to the 49ers 5 yard line that brought the game to the two-minute warning.
From there, Lynch takes the shotgun snap and throws to a wide open Neal for the touchdown. Lynch was money on that do-or-die drive.
Is it me or does Paxton Lynch get better the longer he plays in a game?— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 21, 2016
49ers 31, Broncos 24.
The Broncos performed an onside kick that was well placed by McManus, but the 49ers ultimately came up with it in the ensuing scrum. The 49ers run the clock down, but Taylor ran out of bounds to preserve some time on the clock.
With 55 seconds left and no timeouts, Lynch would have needed to go 80 yards to score the tying touchdown.
It was not to be, after a quick slant completion, Lynch tossed an interception to end the game.