The San Francisco 49ers laid an egg in their second preseason game as they lose 34-0 to the Denver Broncos. This was the first football game to take place in the new Levi's Stadium as 68,500 watched the Broncos win.
Antoine Bethea went down with a concussion injury during the second quarter on a running play by C.J. Anderson. In what was a one-yard gain, Bethea took an awkward landing as he tripped on his own step.
Craig Dahl had to step in at safety and was attacked by the Broncos’ passing attack. Four plays after replacing Bethea, he allowed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Julius Thomas.
Denver controlled majority of the first half as Peyton Manning completed 12 out of his 14 passing attempts. Demaryius Thomas was the biggest target with five receptions for 37 yards.
The Broncos struck first on a 26-yard field goal by Matt Prater as they converted two third down conversions.
After the touchdown by Julius Thomas, the Broncos added another with a 10-play, 63 yard drive which ended on a one-yard run by C.J. Anderson. Brock Osweiler completed three passes and a critical defensive holding penalty on Michael Wilhoite kept the drive going and the Broncos never looked back.
Blaine Gabbert had his second consecutive horrid outing as he completed eight out of 14 attempts, but had another interception which was returned for a hefty gain by Tony Carter. The Broncos capitalized immediately as Brock Osweiler hit WR Cody Latimer for a 33-yard touchdown pass on a fade to the right.
"[I] didn’t think we executed well enough in any area today," Jim Harbaugh said after the game. "We’re not going to keep experimenting. We got to tighten this down, fast."
Harbaugh wasn't happy about the backup quarterback situation, pointing out how each one coughed the ball up to the opposition. The 49ers had four turnovers in the game as a whole, which included a fumble on offense by Josh Johnson and another on a kickoff return by David Reed.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson added an interception in the fourth quarter which put an exclamation mark on the game. After the game, Harbaugh said that whoever doesn't turn the ball over has a good chance to be the backup quarterback.
The next preseason game will be at Levi's Stadium next week against the San Diego Chargers on August 24 at 1:00 p.m. PT.
-Patrick Willis, Anthony Davis and Ian Williams did not play in this game. Willis missed his second consecutive game even though he has been healthy. Williams was recently activated from the physically unable to perform list this week but sat the game out.
-As a result of Williams sitting out, Mike Purcell was forced to start at nose tackle for the second consecutive game.
-Michael Crabtree started at WR for the 49ers, making his preseason debut in 2014. It is only the second preseason in his five-year NFL career that he has participated in a game during exhibition season.
-Other players who started include Brandon Lloyd, Frank Gore, Aldon Smith and Jonathan Martin.