Broncos v. 49ers Report Card

The Denver Broncos were ahead 13-0 against San Francisco and couldn't finish the game to make the playoffs. All they needed to do was beat the then 6-9 49ers but fell apart in the second half. Players and coaches said intensity wasn't a factor, but it was another second-half letdown. Check out the grades for the game which ended the Broncos' season.

REPORT CARD VS. 49ERS
PASSING OFFENSE: C
-- Jay Cutler was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a head injury, but returned in the second half. Jake Plummer played most of the second quarter and went 0-for-2 with an interception in what was likely his last Broncos game. Cutler also threw an interception, a third-quarter pick that was returned for a touchdown. Cutler did rebound to drive the team for a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos couldn't score in overtime.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- Mike Bell had a few nice runs, but the Broncos didn't move the ball that effectively on the ground. Tatum Bell lost another fumble, and didn't finish the season well. The Broncos didn't have their usual dominant running game this season.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- The Broncos did a decent job against Alex Smith, but Smith made a big pass in overtime on a third down to set up San Francisco's game-winning field goal. Champ Bailey returned an interception for a touchdown.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Frank Gore had a big day against the Broncos, rushing for 153 yards. Denver missed middle linebacker Al Wilson, who was out with a stiff back.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Broncos got a few nice returns and a few good kicks from punter Paul Ernster. But they didn't make any game-changing plays. The Broncos didn't have a very good year on special teams.

COACHING: D -- Denver was ahead 13-0 and couldn't finish the game to make the playoffs. All they needed to do was beat the then 6-9 49ers but fell apart in the second half. Players and coaches said intensity wasn't a factor, but it was another second-half letdown.



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