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10 Takeaways: Broncos 33 - 49ers 14

Posted Aug 19, 2017

Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard threw another touchdown pass, but the 49ers fell to the Broncos in Week 2 of the preseason.



The San Francisco 49ers fell to the Denver Broncos on Saturday night, 33-14, in Week 2 of the preseason. Here are your top takeaways.

1. It was a forgettable first half for the 49ers first-team offense. Brian Hoyer and Co. played nearly the entire first two quarters. Their first drive ended in a three-and-out and the final three all ended in turnovers. Hoyer lost the handle of the ball on one drop back for a fumble. He then threw an interception on a pass juggled by Marquise Goodwin. Finally, Tim Hightower fumbled his first carry of the preseason.

Jaquiski Tartt incidentally touching a punt made it four first-half turnovers for the 49ers.

Hoyer did have three completions to Goodwin for 44 yards and a 21-yard pass to Kyle Juszczyk. Hoyer finished 8-of-11 passing for 89 yards and the interception. The first-team offense will look to rebound next week against the Minnesota Vikings.

2. Carlos Hyde couldn't find much running room. He was stuffed early before finding a little space in the second quarter. He finished with eight carries for 26 yards.

The 49ers running game struggled as a whole. Kapri Bibbs had just four carries for six yards. Joe Williams had one carry for one yard. Tim Hightower lost a yard on three carries. Matt Breida did not play. San Francisco had just 37 net rushing yards.

3. The play of the 49ers safeties may have been the highlight of the first half. Eric Reid looked to be comfortable in his new role and was all over the field. He had five solo tackles mixed between run stops and tackles in the passing game.

Lorenzo Jerome was also impressive. He sniffed out a screen pass for no gain on the first play of the game. Jerome ended Denver's first drive with a near interception on a pass downfield intended for Demaryius Thomas.

4. C.J. Beathard now has touchdown passes in each of his first two preseason contests. The 49ers opened the second half with a swift three-play, 72-yard scoring drive that lasted just 1:10. A 39-yard catch and run from Aldrick Robinson got the 49ers into Denver territory. Beathard hit George Kittle for a 29-yard touchdown on the very next play. Beathard threw short pass in the left flat that the tight end managed to take all the way up the sideline and into the end zone. It was a neat moment for the former Iowa teammates.

Beathard played until midway through the fourth quarter. He finished 7-for-12 passing for 110 yards, one touchdown and a quarterback rating of 116.7.

Matt Barkley didn't play much, and his first drive ended in a lost fumble. A mishandled exchange between Barkley and Williams caused the fumble. Barkley completed 1-of-2 passes for 10 yards.

5. Overall, the first-team defense played admirably given the difficult positions the offense provided. The group held Denver to a field goal on multiple occasions. The lone touchdown the group allowed came after Tartt's miscue on special teams. Even then, the 49ers got two stops at the goal line before C.J. Anderson finally crossed the goal line on his third try.

Per Eric Branch, the Broncos offense managed just 2.1 yards on 13 plays against the 49ers first-team defense.

6. Last week it was Kendrick Bourne. This week it was Victor Bolden Jr. as the standout undrafted wide receiver. However, Bolden's contributions didn't come in the passing game. Instead, the Oregon State product returned a kickoff for a 104-yard touchdown.

The coaches will have to split hairs when it comes to cutting wide receivers, and special teams could be the deciding factor. Bolden helped his case for a roster spot on Saturday.

7. Some lineup notes. Eli Harold started at SAM linebacker ahead of Ahmad Brooks. Chris Jones started in place of the injured DeForest Buckner. Harold had multiple QB pressures and forced a holding penalty.

8. Pita Taumoepenu got his first sack of the preseason. He took down Kyle Sloter to begin the fourth quarter. The sixth-round pick was impressive during practice this week and carried over the strong play into Saturday's game. He could be a darkhorse for a roster spot. He got hurt midway through the fourth quarter, but later returned.

9. Tart atoned for his earlier mistake with a sack in the second quarter.

10. Penalties were a problem for a second straight game. The 49ers had 11 accepted penalties and several more that were declined. That will continue to be a point of emphasis for the 49ers going forward.

Notable Stats

- The 49ers were outgained 315-243.

- The 49ers lost the turnover battle 5-0.

- The Broncos had 22 more offensive snaps than the 49ers (67-45).

- The 49ers had just 21:25 time of possession

- Denver had 22 first downs compared to the 49ers 12.