The San Francisco 49ers host the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday, August 19 in the second game of the 2017 NFL preseason. Here is the preview with the latest news, X-factors, injuries and much more.
After holding a pair of joint practices earlier this week, the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos will actually get to hit each other in live game action today. It has become sort of an annual tradition with this matchup — this year marks the fourth consecutive time the two teams have played in the preseason.
The two teams are in distinctly different places in terms of league standing, with Denver being ranked No. 9 in ESPN’s NFL preseason power rankings and San Francisco being ranked No. 31. The Broncos have an elite defense, and that goes a long ways in the NFL. Meanwhile, the 49ers are merely in the process of trying to emulate the defense from the Mile High City.
San Francisco is coming off a 27-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in week one of the preseason. The game featured the much-anticipated debuts of first-round picks Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster, and the pair did not disappoint.
On the defensive line, Thomas was a force to be reckoned with. His performance earned him Pro Football Focus’ game ball and was one of the top defensive lineman in week one:
Not to be out-dueled by his defensive counterpart, Foster too was an impact player on the field. The rookie out of Alabama showed that not only can he play with the starters, but that he deserves to be out there with them.
Foster showed the ability to drop back in pass coverage and defend well, nearly intercepting Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the end zone. And now with head coach Kyle Shanahan officially naming Foster a starter, it shows the team was clearly impressed with his performance.
In all, the first week of preseason was an uneven one for the 49ers. The team did win, but there were some drawbacks. The 49ers first-team offense failed to get anything going; the first-team defense couldn’t stop the Chiefs offense; and there were 17 total penalties for San Francisco.
This next week is going to be another test for the 49ers, facing the vaunted Broncos defense. It’s the second glimpse at Shanahan’s scheme in action, and another view of the young 49ers defense.