Broncos vs. 49ers 2013: Peyton Manning paying attention in preseason

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night's game between the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers didn't look like a matchup of Super Bowl contenders, but the defensive battle was interesting for other reasons.

The Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers are two of the favorites for this year's Super Bowl, but one wouldn't know that from watching Thursday night's preseason opener at Candlestick Park. Nary an offensive touchdown was scored, but the Broncos emerged with a 10-6 victory.

The Broncos defense looked stellar as linebacker Shaun Phillips contributed the only touchdown of the game with a scoop-and-score fumble return after D.J. Cooper coughed up the ball. The Denver defense forced three other turnovers, too, stifling the 49ers throughout the game.

It wasn't necessarily a tale of two teams featuring their top players, however, as Peyton Manning and Colin Kaepernick each played just one single series. Regardless, our friends at Mile High Report were happy about the win -- and that Manning generally seemed to care about the result of a non-counting game.

Is winning in the preseason important? Not really, no, but I found reports about Peyton Manning's attention late in the game interesting. No one would have been more justified in blowing off the last few minutes of preseason football than Peyton F Manning, but there he stood, attentive and focused on his teammates and the game.

And in the end, a win doesn't feel so bad, does it?

The Broncos get their next chance to show what they can do on a visit to the Seattle Seahawks next weekend.

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