The first possession by the Denver Broncos was completely derailed by a terrible no-call on tripping by the San Francisco 49ers. The refs threw the flag and all of the replays clearly showed tripping, but they decided to pick the flag up leading to a three and out for Denver.
Jimmy G fumbled the snap on the ensuing possession with Josey Jewell muscling the ball away for the fumble recovery at midfield to give Denver the ball right back.
On first down, Russell Wilson on play action was sacked after Garett Bolles gave up a sack. A negative play on second down too pushed the Broncos back to a third and a very long 18. They’d get those yards back and punt for yet another three and out. Their sixth of the game.
Corliss Waitman pinned his punt down at the 1 yard line where Jimmy G backed away from pressure and threw a pick six. However, he backed and stepped on the sideline for a safety instead. Even so, the Broncos defense came up big to give the Broncos offense another shot.
49ers 7, Broncos 5.
From their own 19 yard line, the Broncos got a first down for just the third time in a drive in the game. They have six three and outs. They’d get another first down out near midfield. Two plays later on third and three, Wilson would throw it up incomplete but a penalty would give them a first down.
From the 49ers 41-yard line, Javonte Williams took a first down handoff for six yards. He avoided a loss on the next play and gained a yard to set up another third down. Wilson rolled to his right and fired an incompletion to give Brandon McManus a chance to put the Broncos in the lead.
He would push the 53-yard kick wide right to keep the 49ers in the lead.
These near misses woke the 49ers offense up with a big run by Jeff Wilson across midfield. However, they would stuff Wilson on the next play and then Randy Gregory would come up with a big time sack on second down to force a third and 18.
Jimmy G’s third down pass hit the dirt to force another punt in the game.
As the third quarter came to an end, the Broncos offense again found themselves pinned deep by an excellent punt. From their own six yard line, Russell Wilson would throw an incomplete pass on first down and then Melvin Gordon predictably fumbled. Fortunately, Wilson recovered. Thankfully, the team would punt after the next incompletion to end another ugly drive.
Seven of 10 drives have resulted in three and outs for the Broncos in this game. The punt made it to midfield and the return set the 49ers up just outside of field goal range.