Jimmy Garoppolo put together an up-and-down performance in his first start of 2022
Garoppolo is now 31-15 as a starter for San Francisco with the team's 11-10 loss in Denver. No. 10 went 18-of-29 for 211 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Broncos. He also had a fumble and was sacked four times for a loss of 32 yards. Garoppolo led San Francisco on a six-play, 75-yard touchdown scoring drive in the first quarter that was promising, but the offense struggled to find a good flow in the second half, adding just a field goal in the third quarter.
"I just thought altogether, we were not in rhythm," Garoppolo said. "We started off pretty good too. I felt like we were in a rhythm early and then just kind of got away from it. I don't know, things didn't go our way."
Brandon Aiyuk scored his first touchdown of the season
The 49ers were unable to put points on the board on their opening drive, but quickly flipped the script on their second offensive series. San Francisco worked its way down the field in six plays for 75 yards and capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown reception by Aiyuk. The touchdown was Aiyuk's first of the season. No. 11 closed out Sunday with three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown.
"We just never really got into a rhythm in the second half that we had in the first," Shanahan said. "When you don't convert a third down until I think that last drive, that's usually not a good recipe."
"Altogether, it was just a sloppy day," Garoppolo said. "I think we had really one clean drive and got points off of it. Other than that, the defense really kept us in that game but overall, just a sloppy day."
Jeff Wilson Jr. gains big on the ground in back-to-back games
Wilson Jr. followed up his 84 rushing yards against Seattle with a 75-yard performance versus the Broncos. The fifth-year running back was the team's leading rusher for the second-straight week and had a team-long 37-yard run. Wilson Jr. also had three catches for 31 yards and a fumble.
Drake Jackson notched his first-career sack
Jackson was close to his first career sack last week against the Seattle Seahawks, but was able to hit that milestone in Denver. On the Broncos second to last drive of the first half, the rookie defensive lineman sacked quarterback Russell Wilson on third-and-16 for a loss of seven yards and forced Denver to punt. Jackson added another quarterback hit in the first half of Sunday's contest.
A close call for Deebo Samuel in the first half
Samuel was caught in a pile up early in the second quarter following a short five-yard gain on third-and-nine. No. 19 was down on the field but able to walk off without any assistance and later cleared to play after passing medical examination. He reentered the game later in the half and closed out the matchup with 73 yards through the air and six yards on the ground.
Azeez Al-Shaair suffers a knee injury in the second quarter
Al-Shaair had a strong start against the Broncos, recording five tackles, before suffering a knee injury with just under five minutes to go in the first half. The third-year linebacker was able to walk off the field on his own power but was later ruled out of Sunday's contest.
Nick Bosa adds one more sack to the count
The fourth-year defensive lineman now has four sacks on the year after taking down Russell Wilson on the opening drive of the second half. Bosa's sack cost Denver eight yards, and they were unable to convert on the ensuing third-and-long play, allowing the 49ers defense to force another three-and-out.
Trent Williams exits game early with an injury
The 49ers All-Pro and Pro Bowl left tackle was injured in the second half on a play that resulted in a safety for the Broncos. Williams went down but was able to walk off the field. He was later ruled out with an ankle injury. Offensive linemen Jaylon Moore and Colton McKivitz stepped in at the left tackle position in his absence.
"He's the best football player in the NFL," George Kittle said. "I'm not going to say it's like a gut punch, it's just kind of like—he's the most reliable person. There's not pressure, there's no sacks...When you lose him and also a captain, the most steady player on our team besides probably Nick (Bosa), it's just tough."