Here is the live blog for the 49ers preseason game against the Denver Broncos. I’ll be updating this frequently from by bedroom, where I have the big screen TV.
FYI – I will be at the 49ers’ final preseason game and the season opener in Green Bay. I’ll be your eyes on those games.
1:05 Terry Bradshaw just said re: the 49ers’ offense today, “I do believe they’ll go deep.”
1:17 Peyton Manning completed two passes on the Broncos first drive – one for 11 yards to Joel Dreesen and another for 16 yards to Demaryius Thomas. The drive stalled when Carlos Rogers grabbed Brandon Stokely over the middle and Manning’s pass fell incomplete. The Niners had very little pass rush without Aldon Smith.
1:22 The Niners offense went three-and-out on their first series. On third and six Elvis Dumervil blew by Joe Staley to sack Alex Smith. Clearly the Niners think they can improve on third down by getting more third-and-shorts and running up the middle with Brandon Jacobs, but the Niners don’t seem any better on third and long yet.
1:33 Now it’s 10-0 Broncos. Peyton Manning made his second series look easy. He threw a 10-yard TD to Eric Decker, who turned Carlos Rogers around in the end zone. Manning looks terrific so far. He’s a better quarterback than Tim Tebow, that’s for sure.
1:45 Now the score is 17 to nothing and it’s still the first quarter. Alex Smith converted a third and one by rolling to his left and throwing against his body to Michael Crabtree for a four-yard gain, but then Smith fumbled the snap on the very next play. Four plays later, Manning threw TD No.2 to Eric Decker, who beat Tramaine Brock in the back left corner of the end zone.
1:49 The Broncos tried an on-side kick but muffed it. The Niners got the ball on the Denver 44-yard line and on the first play Alex Smith threw a nice pass to a wide open Vernon Davis down the left sideline for a touchdown. 17-7 Broncos. Alex Smith has not thrown a pass to Randy Moss yet.
1:51 Manning leaves the game with a 148.6 rating, completing 10-12 passes and 2 TDs.
1:55 Perrish Cox just picked off Caleb Hanie, who was trying to throw a back-shoulder pass to Eric Decker, who was expecting a deep pass.
2:00 After the interception, the Niners offense went three-and-out. On third and six from Denver’s 15-yard line, Alex Smith back pedaled in the pocket and then threw the ball away. David Akers made a field goal to make the score 17-10 Broncos. The Niners said this isn’t a dress rehearsal, but Alex Smith and the first-team offense is still in the game.
2:04 Eric Bakhtiari is down on the field. It looked to me like he took a shot to the helmet.
2:06 I don’t get how Troy Aikman can say the Niners’ offense is completely vanilla today after that 44-yard TD pass to Vernon Davis. That wasn’t vanilla. That was a clever play.
2:11 Will Tukuafu sacked Caleb Hanie on third and 12. Hanie fumbled but recovered the ball. The Broncos punted and Ted Ginn Jr. called a fair catch at the 13 yard line. Alex Smith is coming back in the game. This feels like a dress rehearsal for the offense.
2:14 On first and ten, Alex Smith play faked and overthrew Randy Moss deep by five yards. Moss looked triple-covered.
2:16 Out of timeouts, Alex Smith takes a delay of game penalty.
2:17 On the very next play, Mike Iupati gets penalized for a false start. First and 20.
2:21 On third and 18 Alex Smith checks down to Anthony Dixon for a gain of three.
2:32 Caleb Hanie just threw a 5-yard TD pass to Joel Dreesen to make the score 24-10 Broncos. The Niners’ second-team defense missed about five tackles on that drive. 26 seconds left in the first half.
The Niners defense has not looked good this preseason. That’s a problem, because this team is built around the defense holding teams under 20 points.
2:55 On third and 1 from the Denver 26, Anthony Dixon busts through the line and runs all the way to the end zone for a touchdown. Good for him. 24-17 Broncos. Ted Ginn Jr. seemed to hurt his right ankle on the drive.
3:00 The Niners force Brock Osweiler and the Broncos’ third-team offense to go three-and-out. On third and 9 Ian Williams brought heat on Osweiler, forcing the rookie QB to throw the ball away.
3:08 David Akers just made a field goal. 24-20 Broncos. Anthony Dixon gained 19 yards on two carries on that drive. He should make the team over Rock Cartwright. Dixon’s much younger and a better running back. Colin Kaepernick made one nice pass on the drive – a 15-yard bullet as he was running to his left. He’s been terrific when he rolls out, but much less effective inside the pocket.
3:21 Kyle Williams caught a short pass from Kaepernick and turned it upfield for a 45-yard gain. Williams will make this team. Anthony Dixon ran right up the middle for a first down on second and four. He’s having a terrific game, averaging 8.8 yards per carry.
3:26 On first and 10 from the Broncos’ 14, Kaepernick threw a beautiful pass from the pocket to A.J. Jenkins, who made a nice catch with his hands and then hit the turf immediately. Gain of 11.
3:27 Harbaugh calls three straight runs inside the five yard line. Unsurprisingly they don’t work. David Akers makes a short field goal. 24-23 Broncos. Why not go for it on fourth down? It’s a preseason game, and Harbaugh already knows what he has in David Akers.
3:39 Scott Tolzien comes in the game and right away he converts a third-and-nine to Brett Swain for 16 yards. A.J. Jenkins dropped a perfect pass on the sideline.
3:47 Akers kicks another field goal and the Niners take the lead 26-24. I do not get what these Akers field goals are supposed to accomplish.
4:09 Another meaningless field goal for Akers. 29-24 Niners.