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Broncos vs 49ers: Denver’s third preseason game is all about the offense

From the offensive line and snaps to Drew Lock and Phillip Lindsay, the MHR staff wants to see the offense take the next step (or two).

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The longest preseason ever marches on.

There is some hyperbole there, but it does feel that way in regards to the Denver Broncos (just ask the media covering it). We are, however, getting closer to the regular season with Monday’s night preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Saturday concluded the two days of joint practices between the teams, and now it’s on to the third preseason game that is really the second. On the MHR Radio Podcast (ApplePodcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher), Adam Malnati and I went over what and who to look for on Monday night at Mile High.

Before we get to what the MHR staff wants to see, here’s the preseason history between the Broncos and San Francisco. In the regular season, this is where you will see the offensive and defensive rankings/stats for both teams. I might carry over this brief history for the regular season as well.

  • Monday’s game serves as the 40th preseason game between Denver and the 49ers. The Broncos are 22-17 in the preseason all-time against San Francisco — 10-7 at home; 11-8 on the road; 1-2 on neutral sites.
  • The first preseason game between the two teams was Aug. 23, 1968, at the University of Denver stadium. The 49ers won that game 22-6. The most recent was Aug. 19, 2017, in San Francisco. The Broncos won that game 33-14.
  • One of the neutral-site preseason games was part of the American Bowl in Tokyo, Japan. That’s the game future Hall-of-Famer Terrell Davis announced his arrival with a special teams hit that forced the organization to ask, “Who the hell was that?” The Broncos won that Aug. 6, 1995, game at the Tokyo Dome, 24-10.
  • Denver will play on Monday Night Football in the preseason for the 16th time, and the first since 2007. The Broncos are 6-9 in preseason games played on MNF.

Now to the keys to Monday’s game.

Denver’s offensive line

There’s no secret one of the biggest questions for the Broncos is the offensive line. Still. How Denver’s line does is a key factor (the factor?) in how the offense and team does this season. The last two days and Monday’s game is the best test yet since San Francisco has a very good defensive line. I want to see how the Broncos offensive line holds itself and what it shows (hopefully good). — Ian St. Clair


Connor McGovern has to deliver clean snaps to Joe Flacco — under center and especially shotgun. It’s been an issue for McGovern since early in training camp. Luke Patterson

More improvement from Drew Lock

Lock showed the improvement he needed to last week against the Seattle Seahawks. This week, he needs to step up yet again and play well enough to make the team wonder if Kevin Hogan should remain the backup. And if Lock shows some improved blitz recognition, that certainly wouldn’t hurt. — Taylor Kothe

Move the ball

Would like to see the Broncos starting offense get a little bit of movement against the 49ers defense. I’d also like for the second- and third-team receivers get some opportunities to really show out in live action. — Just_JoRo

No interceptions

Apparently, we need to hope Flacco doesn’t throw six picks. — Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Phillip Lindsay

Lindsay makes the offense click and Denver sputters without him. Needs to be out there as much as possible even as a decoy. — Kyle Berry

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What are your keys for the Broncos preseason game in Seattle?