The Denver Broncos have a 10+ hour flight back from London, but it may as well be a 14-day flight. That’s how long the Broncos will have to sit with this loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The London Denver Eye witnessed the Broncos 4th consecutive loss just before a bye week. Ever since the Broncos week five loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the season has gone down the tube (no pun intended).
Like many games this season, the Broncos got off to a slow start. In fact, in the first half, the crowd at Wembley Stadium saw a scoreboard that looked more reminiscent of a real football scoreboard. After 30 minutes of NFL action, it was San Francisco on top 3-0.
The game definitely picked it up in the 2nd half when Tim “Trotting” Tebow ran to the left for a 1-yard gain and his second career touchdown in the NFL. That appeared to get Denver’s offense off on the right foot. The Broncos went up 10-3 after a Matt Prater field goal, but 49ers QB Troy Smith learned a little something from Tebow and ran the ball in himself from 1-yard out to tie the game. After that, the 49ers got two more touchdowns on the scoreboard to make it a 24-10 game with 3:47 left. Kyle Orton was able to make it 16-24 after a 1-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd. Prater, however, missed the extra point to leave it an 8 point game with 2:19 left to play. Denver did have one more chance, but Orton threw an interception into the arms of Shawntae Spencer. That ended it at 24-16.
Orton finished the day going 28-for-40 for 369 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Brandon Lloyd was the team’s leading receiver with 7 catches for 169 yards and 1 TD. As a team, the Broncos struggled on the ground with 59 yards on 17 carries. They turned the ball over three times and could not convert on third down going 1-for-9.
The team’s defense was solid for so long. Once they gave up their first touchdown, they allowed the 49ers to score two more in a span of five minutes. There was no pressure on Troy Smith and they didn’t force any turnovers. In his first start in four years, Smith went 12-for-19 for 196 yards and 1 TD. Not a bad “welcome back” to the game.
As fans filed out of the stadium, they could only wonder which team was in for a bumpier ride as their seasons are officially half over. The Broncos and 49ers head back to the United States with 2-6 records. The only difference is the Broncos have the bitter taste of a loss to sit with going into their bye week. May they swallow it and allow it to make them a better football team.
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