Two of the NFL's most exciting teams played the epitome of true preseason football on Thursday as the Denver Broncos defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 10-6. It was a glimpse into two playoff teams running their most plain, vanilla schemes.
It took just four pass attempts for the Broncos to decide they still know who Peyton Manning is, handing the keys to Brock Osweiler. The second-year quarterback didn't throw deep, but he took care of the football, going 13-for-18 with 105 passing yards.
One area that won't be encouraging for head coach John Fox is the lackluster play Denver got from its running backs. Rookie Montee Ball was unable to make an impact, as he carried the ball five times for only nine yards, and the veterans weren't much better. Knowshon Moreno was similarly ineffective, and only undrafted rookie C.J. Anderson was able to move the ball.
Colin Kaepernick didn't get a lot of opportunities, but he didn't need them. The 49ers' quarterback was poised in the pocket, showing an innate ability to escape the talented Denver pass rush. He completed all of his passes, and left the field unscathed, the most important thing for any team's quarterback in preseason.
The same can't be said for backup Colt McCoy, who left the game with a shoulder injury following a big hit. McCoy remained on the sideline afterwards, so hopefully he avoided any lasting issues.
Did they cover?
San Francisco was favored by three points, and did not cover.
Aug. 16, 8 p.m. ET: San Francisco vs. Kansas City
Aug. 17, 10 p.m. ET: Denver vs. Seattle