2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Final from San Francisco — Broncos 10, 49ers 6

Published: August 8, 2013, 5:20 pm, by Paul Klee

SAN FRANCISCO — Chalk it up.

The Broncos got their first win — a preseason game with no apparent injuries.

After one series, Peyton Manning struck a pose on the sideline, Von Miller soon did the same, and the Broncos beat the 49ers 10-6 in front of a half-full Candlestick Park on Thursday.

For a team with its sights set on the Super Bowl in February, an August preseason game without an ailing starter is a triumph in itself.

A breakout player emerged. Duke Ihenacho continued to emerge, rather. The undrafted safety racked up a team-high seven tackles and made another strong case for a starting spot. Ihenacho also has been a standout in training camp.

Manning played one series. The offense stalled after seven plays, and the Broncos punted. Manning went 2-for-4 for 13 yards and retreated to fan mode for the remainder of the game.

Brock Osweiler, the backup, played under a heavy pass rush and behind a shaky offensive line for much of his two-plus quarters at quarterback. Osweiler finished 13 of 18 for 105 yards and a rating of 86.6.

More coverage coming in Friday’s Gazette.

Live Report — Broncos 7, 49ers 3 — Candlestick Park — End of the third quarter

—For what it’s worth, Broncos running back C.J. Anderson had the longest run of this training camp, at least that I’ve seen, as well. Yes, he’s rushing against the Niners’ second- or third-stringers. But…

—The Broncos lead this preseason series, 18-16. That’s a lot of preseason games between two inter-conference clubs.

—John Fox challenged a spot in the third quarter of the first preseason game. I like it. Our deadline doesn’t.

—Brock Osweiler getting a lot of work tonight. Behind a shaky offensive line, he’s fared well.

—Julius Thomas picked up right where he left off at Dove Valley: four catches, 35 yards.

—Leading tackler for the Broncos? Try Duke Ihenacho (with seven). There’s always one breakout player in training camp. He’s it.

Cutting it tight with deadline — will check back at the final horn.


Live Report — Broncos 7, 49ers 3 — Candlestick Park — End of the second quarter

—Colorado, you have a quarterback controversy. Brock Osweiler started 6-for-6 for 54 yards and a 104.2 passer rating.

—You’re right. Peyton’s probably safe. Solid start for Osweiler, regardless.

—Stewart Bradley getting a long look at middle linebacker. Expected starter Nate Irving did enter the game on the Niners’ third series, though — and then forced a fumble.

—Duke Ihenacho, the surprise of this training camp, again with a play. Did his best Charles Tillman and stripped the ball to force a fumble.

—Who’s job might be in trouble? Mike Adams, unfortunately. One of the best NFL guys you’ll meet.

—Anyone see (drafted ahead of Eddie Lacy) Montee Ball today?

—At running back, the Broncos have a first-round pick, second-round pick and third-round pick. Do they have one that can help?

—Knowshon Moreno — the first-rounder — is the best option right now, me thinks.

—Eric Decker is wearing an orange ballcap. Swoon.

—The oddities of Twitter: Lots o’ folks complaining about preseason football. Hey, guys. There are other channels.

—Noticing how the Broncos are making more of an effort to swipe, slap or otherwise dislodge the ball from the ballcarrier.

—First win of the season for the Broncos: No major injuries (tonight). At least none that we’ve seen from the press box.

Back in a few.


Live Report — 49ers 3, Broncos 0 — Candlestick Park — End of the first quarter

—If the elusive Colin Kaepernick wasn’t the target, Von Miller’s inside spin move would’ve been a sack.

—Niners’ first possession: 13 plays, 62 yards, 7:07, 32-yard field goal.

—Joe Montana’s No. 16 and Steve Young’s No. 8 are next to each other in the Niners’ Ring of Honor.

—Stewart Bradley was the starting middle linebacker for the Broncos. Hmmm.

—Hopefully writing about Trindon Holliday next week. Had an excellent conversation with the scary (good, and bad) return man.

—The man wearing the Steve Atwater jersey is in Section 36.

—Julius Thomas, arguably the most dominant pass-catcher of this training camp, with the Broncos’ first reception of the preseason.

—Peyton Manning’s new offense: Fast. And faster. Not quite fastest, yet.

—Brock Osweiler took over on the second series. The offensive line did him no favors. Guard-turned-center Manny Ramirez was called for holding, a good call. Orlando Franklin was beaten by a pass-rusher, and Osweiler hit the turf, hard.

—Still about 50-percent empty in here.

—Most of the first-team defense stayed in the game for San Francisco’s second series on offense — minus Woodyard, Bailey, Miller and one other starter I can’t remember.

Back in a few.


Live Report — Broncos at 49ers — Candlestick Park — Kickoff

—Um, where are the fans, San Francisco? Candlestick’s maybe 40 percent full. If the Broncos played in the Super Bowl last year… pretty sure it’s packed 20 minutes before kickoff. Preseason or no.

—Giants played this afternoon with a 12:45 first pitch. So that’s not why.

—Teams are on the sideline for the National Anthem.

—Broncos captains at midfield for the coin flip: Champ Bailey, Britton Colquitt, David Bruton, Wesley Woodyard, Demaryius Thomas and Peyton Manning. Broncos win the toss and defer.


Live Report — Broncos at 49ers — Candlestick Park — 15 minutes until kickoff (7 p.m.)

—Jim Harbaugh doesn’t walk the field. He stalks the field. Like he’s a guy who didn’t order a meal, so he’s waiting to see who leaves the best leftovers.

—Candlestick Park is… 20 percent full. Thursday-night tailgates must be still going strong.

—Although I tend to think Mile High would be 50-percent full by now, at least.

—Ah, there’s the Alex Smith jersey in San Francisco. He’s in Section 11.

—Fog horn blows, and the teams have left the field.

—Who else to watch tonight? The Broncos running backs. Unless I’m missing something, the backfield has been wholly underwhelming this training camp.

—No idea how I’m getting back to my hotel tonight.

Back in a few.


Live Report — Broncos at 49ers — Candlestick Park — 30 minutes until kickoff (7 p.m.)

—This clashes with conventional NFL logic/tradition… but I don’t think Peyton Manning should be on the field tonight. Or next week. Play him two, three series in the third exhibition game. The other three preseason games? Hide him. Why risk it?

—Gorgeous day in the Bay Area. The fog blew out (fizzled out? burned off?) by 11 a.m. and the sun is shining. No weather or field concerns tonight.

—Knowshon Moreno just caught a pass from Brock Osweiler and acted as though he would hurdle… air. Instead, he juked left.

—Patrick Smythe and the superb Broncos media relations staff is on its game, per usual. There can’t be a better one in the NFL.

—No Roger Craig sightings yet. There’s still time.

—Von Miller going through warmup drills. No word on his availability for Weeks 1-4.

Back in a few.


Live Report — Broncos at 49ers — Candlestick Park — 45 minutes until kickoff (7 p.m.)

—Peyton Manning took the field at 6:02 p.m. Brock Osweiler and the other two quarterbacks were close behind.

—Colin Kaepernick is a football hero out here. They love him. Sounded like a One Direction concert when No. 7 emerged from the tunnel.

—John Fox is still talking.

—The honorable Chris Dempsey reminds me the Niners’ new stadium — Levi’s — opens next season. Too bad. Candlestick and I were just becoming buds.

—Broncos right tackle Orlando Franklin is on the field and dressed and warming up.

Back in a few.


Live Report — Broncos at 49ers — Candlestick Park — Kickoff: 7 p.m.

—OK, here’s the link to the pregame chat. Feel free to drop by and hit me with any questions you have — about the game, AT&T Park, Peyton Manning’s rap video, the crowd tonight, who has the misfortune of sitting next to me in the press box, etc. We’ll go for about a half hour.

—John Fox is talking to Jim Harbaugh on the field. John Fox is always, always talking to somebody.

Back in a few.


The Stick

Live Report — Broncos at 49ers — Candlestick Park — Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Good evening everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee joining you from Candlestick Park for the first Live Report of this Broncos season.

—The Broncos and Niners are on the field, warming up and exchanging pleasantries. Jim Harbaugh is dishing out hugs. Didn’t strike me as a hugger. The players aren’t in pads yet.

—We don’t know how much Peyton Manning will play tonight. The safe guess: One series, at most. The QB wouldn’t divulge his Thursday playing-time itinerary when asked about it at training camp on Tuesday.

“We haven’t had that conversation,” Manning said.

Sure, and there’s a bridge for sale — just about 4.4 miles away from here.

—Regardless, you will get a good look at Brock Osweiler tonight. Here’s today’s column on the Broncos’ backup quarterback — and the unusual way in which he got here.

—Who’s a bigger deal in the Bay Area: former NL MVP Buster Posey, Nuggets-slayer Steph Curry or quarterback Colin Kaepernick? (Couldn’t come up with a worthy big shot from the Raiders).

The unofficial poll: there are more No. 7 49ers (Kaepernick) jerseys running around San Francisco than anyone else. Him and Patrick Willis.

—Our Pregame Chat begins at 6 p.m. (Springs time). Will provide a link here in a minute.

—I started these Broncos Live Reports in November of last season. You can see an example here.

The gist of it: We hope to provide observations from the stadium that you might not see on TV. Just another way to follow the game from your couch. There will be very little play-by-play (you can see that on TV just fine) but more of an in-person feel. Let us know what you think (paul.klee@gazette.com). We’ll continue them for the rest of the season, in some form, for every Broncos game — home and away.

Back in a few.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette