Broncos Live Game Notes vs. San Francisco

Follow along as Broncos Update columnist Schon gives us his take of tonight's preseason debut against the San Francisco 49ers.

Welcome to the new era of Denver Broncos football - and it all starts tonight in Candlestick Park against the San Francisco 49ers.

Broncos Update columnist Michael John Schon will be providing updates and analysis following each quarter of tonight's game, breaking down the debut of forty-seven new players added to the roster. Check back often for the latest updates.

1st Quarter
Ouch – initial reaction – the Denver Broncos are in for a very long season. Defensively it's pretty much the same old song – poor pass coverage, poor run coverage and the 49ers march downfield an take an early 3-0 lead. The fact that Matt Prater's kick couldn't make it past the 30-yard line didn't help matters. This guy's definitely gonna be on a short leash if this continues.

Offensively I fell for it – dink and dunk, mixing up the rotation and connecting with Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley worked – 14-plays moves it down to the end zone where reality sets in. Kyle Orton tosses out his first interception and Denver walks away empty. This isn't going to sit well with the Bronco faithful who've been booing him since his debut at Invesco Field nearly a week ago.

Quarter comes to a rather uninspiring end as the 49ers lead 3-0.…. this might be a good time to start drinking.

2nd Quarter
It's kind of like watching a train wreck… after successfully shutting down SF at their own 29-yard line, everybody's favorite quarterback responds by tossing a perfect strike to Dre Bly. Unfortunately Dre Bly no longer plays for the Broncos and it's interception #2 for Orton.

The misery continued on Denver's third possession, and wouldn't you know it – Orton rolls out with #3 – perfect shot to 49ers DB Reggie Smith, who returns it inside the ten. Tack on an illegal chop block and SF takes possession on the 3. Four seconds later the Broncos are beginning to hemorrhage and it's a ten point dance at Candlestick.

Can't wait to see the spin on this one… Props to McDaniels – he leaves the kid in to get Barbequed.

Just when you though it couldn't get any worse – Knowshon Moreno leaves the field with a knee injury – return is questionable… We're at the two-minute warning and this still a chance we could see INT #4.

Broncos dodge a bullet - drive stall without a turnover and the 49ers wind down the first half with a 10-0 lead.

Lone bright spot - San Francisco cheerleaders... that and the fact Orton's done for the night.

3rd Quarter
Everybody's in the mix at this stage, but it's Simms that has everyone feeling better on offense. Second team, third team – instant improvement over the first half – but keep in mind, they're facing the 49ers second and third string. First possession of the quarter and Simms engineers a nice drive – toped off with a 6-yard completion to Jeb Putzier . Broncos are creeping back in and although you can't put a lot of stock in the preseason – Simms clearly has outplayed Orton…

"D" steps it up as well – holding the 49ers to 2 possessions in the quarter – none of which light up the scoreboard. Again, you gotta keep in mind they're not exactly facing a powerhouse – but it nice to see the SF punt team take the field.

Simms closes out the quarter driving it out to midfield – highlight of the drive is a Peyton Hillis 14-yard scamper to the SF 37. Quarter comes to a close with Denver trailing it 9-7.

4th Quarter
Simms continues the drive on a short field and caps it off with a 26-yard Matt Prater field goal – Broncos take the lead 10-9 and I'm not the only one thinking there'll be a shift in the lineup come Monday.

Beautiful defensive breakup by rookie Alphonso Smith – saved a guaranteed touchdown. SF continues to move the ball, finding every hole in the secondary…Broncos gamble a bit and bust out the blitz – bad idea when you don't execute it correctly… Damon Huard finds a wide open Brit Miller for the score. Blown assignment somewhere – 49ers toss out a jump ball in the end zone for the two-point conversion… nice slap... 17-10 49ers lead.

Broncos response – seven plays that accumulate a grand total of 27-yards… Britton Colquitt sails a beautiful punt to the 49ers five-yard line. This kid's got a leg and may give Brent Kern a run for his money.

Just under 5:00 to go and the 49ers go three and out – Simms gets another chance and almost seals his jump to number one with a beautiful 52-yard strike to Kenny McKinley – two-point attempt comes up lame and that's pretty much all she wrote.

Completely disappointing performance from Orton – nice debut for Chris Simms…Welcome to the controversy. As McDaniels said following the game – "A lot of work to do and a lot of time to work on it."

From what it looks like, he'll probably need the entire season.

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