The San Francisco 49ers host the Denver Broncos for Week 2 of NFL preseason action. Niner Noise has your in-game updates and comment thread, so follow along with us!
Week 2 of the NFL preseason is underway, and the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Denver Broncos on August 19.
Both teams figured to treat this game a bit more like a regular-season contest, so one expected both sides’ starters to see a bit more of the field than a week ago.
The Niners and Broncos are also coming off two joint practices, and San Francisco could feel pretty good about some solid efforts put up against a team that won a Super Bowl just over a season ago.
San Francisco 49ers
How well that translates over onto the field was yet to be seen, though, and head coach Kyle Shanahan will still look to clean up some specific areas after the contest.
Penalties were a problem in Week 1 of the preseason, as the Niners were flagged 17 times in their exhibition matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
And it would have been nice if San Francisco’s first-team units could showcase some abilities this week as well.
Niner Noise has already dished out our preseason Week 2 preview to lay the background for this game. Some of this backdrop panned out during the contest, but others sure didn’t.
Meanwhile, all you need to do is sit back and follow along with us as we provide you with scoring updates, analysis and comments throughout.
So keep your browser locked in right here, and be sure to scroll down to the comments section, so you can join the discussion!
San Francisco opened up on defense after winning the coin toss and deferring. But Denver managed to convert on third down when cornerback Rashard Robinson missed a tackle on Broncos tailback C.J. Anderson, who got enough for a first down.
Yet the Niners managed to clamp down and forced a punt shortly thereafter. One of the key figures was rookie defensive back Lorenzo Jerome, starting with the first-team defense, who is vying for a spot on the 53-man roster.
But on the punt, safety Jaquiski Tartt accidentally bumped the ball, which Denver recovered on the 49ers’ 11-yard line.
Despite a tough goal-line stand, the Broncos took the lead on an Anderson 1-yard carry.
Trailing 7-0, the Niners offense finally managed to take the field at the 10:20 mark. It didn’t matter much, though, as San Francisco went 3-and-out with a penalty mixed in between.
San Francisco’s defense forced another 3-and-out, thanks mostly to safety Eric Reid, who is showing his ability to thrive in the team’s new defensive scheme.
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin pulled in a 22-yard catch for the 49ers’ first time crossing the first-down marker. And he backed it up with a 13-yard grab to get to midfield.
But Brian Hoyer lost control of the ball in a toss attempt, fumbling and resulting in another 49ers turnover.
Back on defense, the Niners looked to continue their strong efforts against Denver’s first team. It worked, forcing a 45-yard field goal from Broncos kicker Brandon McManus to make it a 10-0 game.
Fans got to see a bit of what fullback Kyle Juszczyk can do, as Hoyer found him for a 21-yard catch-and-run play for a first down.
But Hoyer threw behind Goodwin, and the receiver couldn’t hold onto it, resulting in a Denver takeaway by cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris.
Third San Francisco turnover of the night, so far.
Another strong defensive stand forced another Broncos field goal to make it 13-0.
The 49ers managed to get things going again on their following offensive drive, but yet another turnover — a fumble by running back Tim Hightower — gave Denver the ball back.
Ball security has been a major issue for San Francisco this game.
San Francisco’s defense was backed up deep again in its own territory — a usual occurrence during this game. But the Niners couldn’t hold forever, as Broncos wideout Jordan Taylor hauled in a 19-yard touchdown to make things 20-0.
The 49ers opened up on offense. And rookie QB C.J. Beathard managed to find wide receiver Aldrick Robinson on a play-action pass for 39 yards.
And tight end George Kittle ended up hauling in the subsequent pass from Beathard for San Francisco’s first score — a 29-yard grab cutting the lead 20-7.
Kittle made some impressive moves on the play, as seen here, and he’s in line to be the starting tight end for the Niners this season:
By this point, the majority of San Francisco’s starters, and even immediate backups, were on the bench. So getting time for Beathard and Kittle was key.
The Broncos moved the ball quickly down the field the subsequent drive. But like earlier, San Francisco’s defense managed to clamp down and force a field goal to make things 23-7.
San Francisco didn’t manage much the following possession, resulting in a punt. The same went for the Broncos’ following possession.
And again for the Niners, minus a nice pickup by wide receiver Louis Murphy.
San Francisco managed to force a punt early in the fourth quarter. And by this time, the majority of starters and second-team players had departed.
But there didn’t appear to be any fourth-quarter comeback in reserves, as the Niners punted their first possession of the quarter.
Denver managed to move the ball effectively the following possession, moving again deep into San Francisco territory. This led to yet another Broncos field goal, making the score 26-7 in favor of Denver.
With Beathard out of the game, and fellow QB Matt Barkley in, Barkley lost the ball on a fumble, which Denver recovered for its fifth turnover from San Francisco. And this led to a touchdown run by Broncos running back Juwaun Thompson, making it 33-7 amid a slew of missed Niners tackles.
But on the following play, wide receiver Victor Bolden managed to return a kickoff for a 104-yard touchdown return, certainly helping his chances to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
33-14 in favor of Denver.
Yet the Broncos were able to run down the clock after hitting the two-minute mark, ensuring they’d come away with their second preseason victory of the season.
Meanwhile, the Niners drop to 1-1 this preseason and have a number of things to figure out between now and their next contest versus the Minnesota Vikings.
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