After a solid opening preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Francisco 49ers struggled on both sides of the ball against the Denver Broncos.
The team committed five turnovers, 11 penalties, and only tallied 243 yards of total offense on a 72-degree Santa Clara night.
Denver opened the game with a three-play drive that was extended after a late-hit penalty by 49ers linebacker Dekoda Watson. The 49ers defense held Denver to three plays, forcing them to punt. However, during the commercial break, the officials determined the ball hit 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt and Denver recovered at the 49ers' 11-yard line.
Lynch ran four plays from the 11-yard line, with running back C.J. Anderson scoring from the one-yard line.
Starting quarterback Brian Hoyer and the 49ers offensive starters played four series, but could not move the ball against Denver's defense. During the second offensive possession, Hoyer and the offense were driving, but as he dropped back to pass on the 11th play, the ball slipped from his hand and Denver recovered at the 49ers' 48-yard line.
"I was getting ready to rip it to (Jeremy) Kerley, he had a double move route, and I thought he as going to win," said quarterback Brian Hoyer. "I went to throw it, and I was going to throw it hard. I think my arm went forward, I was looking around thinking, 'What happened to the ball?' I've never really had that happen in a game."
Hoyer finished the night 8-for-11, for 89 yards passing, with one interception.
However, this is the second week in a row the first team offensive line did not allow a sack.
"I thought our pass protection was unbelievable," said quarterback Brian Hoyer. "I didn't get touched all night. And that's two weeks in a row against two pretty good defenses where our offensive linemen did a great job in pass protection."
The 49ers' running game also struggled. Running back Carlos Hyde led the team with 26 yards on eight carries. However, the team could only net an additional 11 yards from running backs Kapri Bibbs and Joe Williams and quarterback C.J. Beathard. Running back Tim Hightower saw his first action of the preseason and had -1 yard on three carries and one catch for one yard.
C.J. Beathard entered the game late in the second quarter, but could not put the offense in a scoring position.
At the start of the third quarter, Beathard led a quick three play drive that ended in rookie tight end George Kittle's first touchdown. On a play action, Beathard rolled slightly to the left and found Kittle in the flat. Kittle rumbled down the sideline and tip-toed in for a score.
"He (Beathard) did a solid job," said head coach Kyle Shanahan. "It was tough to get anyone in rhythm. It seems like Kittle made a hell of a play down the sidelines. I lost it at the end so I didn't see exactly how he finished it. I think, under the circumstances, he (Beathard) did solid."
With 4:37 left in the fourth quarter, rookie wide receiver Victor Bolden, Jr. had the highlight for the 49ers, returning a kickoff from four yards deep in his own end zone for a touchdown.
Defensively, the 49ers struggled to stop Denver, allowing 315 yards passing,146 yards on the ground, and 22 first downs.
"I thought the defense did a pretty good job, considering they had 27 points off turnovers," said Shanahan. "Considering the situation we put them in, I'm not upset with the defense right now."
Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, who injured his AC joint earlier in the week, was questionable entering Saturday's game. However, he started next to linebacker NaVorro Bowman and finished the game with one tackle.
Tartt lead all 49ers defenders with six tackles, while defensive back Don Jones and veteran Eric Reid both tallied five tackles.
Next week, the 49ers travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.
"In every game, you're going to find positives and negatives," said Hoyer. "The thing is, you build on the positives, you build on the negatives, and you keep getting better."
|11 (90)||Penalties (Yds)||11 (86)|
|4 (42)||Punts (Avg)||4 (40)|
|38:35||Time of Pos.||21:25|
|Broncos Player Stats|
|49ers Player Stats|