What We Learned: 49ers 31 - Broncos 24

View photos from the 49ers second preseason game against the Denver Broncos.

DENVER -- Eric Reid is having himself a week.

The San Francisco 49ers safety welcomed the birth of his second child on Aug. 13 and celebrated with a pick-six in his preseason debut against the Denver Broncos. On the first play of the second quarter, Reid jumped Trevor Siemian's pass intended for Demaryius Thomas and returned it 42 yards for the 49ers first touchdown of the game.

In the spirit of the Olympics, Reid hurdled Siemian on his way into the end zone.

Here are the other notable takeaways from San Francisco's 31-24 win in Denver.

First-team Defense Responds after Early Touchdown

The Broncos got the ball first after the 49ers deferred to the second half. Denver opened the game with a 10-play, 86 yard touchdown drive, capped by a 19-yard run from C.J. Anderson.

Jim O'Neil's group bounced back with three straight stops. The Broncos failed to get more than 16 yards on those three possessions with Reid's interception erasing Denver's early lead.

Chris Davis continues to thrive as the 49ers nickel corner. Davis recorded a pass breakup on the game's opening drive and followed with a third-down stop later in the first quarter.

Tony Jerod-Eddie, Garrison Smith and Ronald Blair III all saw snaps with the first-team defense in the absence of Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. Gerald Hodges started at inside linebacker next to NaVorro Bowman, but Michael Wilhoite and Ray-Ray Armstrong also rotated in with the first group.

Smith saw extended work into the second half. The defensive lineman posted two tackles for loss, including a third-quarter sack of rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch.

'El Guapo' Finds the End Zone

San Francisco's ground game continued to find success on Saturday. The 49ers were stopped on their first two drives before Pierre Garçon got loose. Hyde's 20-yard run on San Francisco's third possession got the offense into Denver territory for the first time. Blaine Gabbert found Garrett Celek over the middle for a gain of 19 yards to the Broncos 9-yard line.

Two plays later, Hyde finished what he started with a 4-yard touchdown run, accompanied by his signature "flexin'" celebration.

The 49ers starting running back finished the game with six carries for 28 yards (4.7-yard average).

Gabbert's night concluded after completing 6-of-9 pass attempts for 69 yards. McDonald caught 3-of-4 targets for 38 receiving yards.

Sacks on Sacks

The 49ers pass-rush created pressure throughout Saturday's contest and accumulated six sacks on the night.

Marcus Rush accounted for three of those quarterback takedowns. The second-year linebacker dropped Mark Sanchez twice in the second quarter and added a sack of Lynch in the third quarter. Rush also forced a fumble which was recovered by Gerald Hodges. The Michigan State product recorded 7.5 sacks as a senior for the Spartans in 2014 and spent his rookie season on the 49ers practice squad.

Garrett Celek sacked Sanchez in the second quarter and forced a fumble. Nick Bellore grabbed the loose ball for the 49ers second takeaway of the game. Smith and Jason Fanaika were the other 49ers defenders to record a sack.

Bowman sacked Siemian in the first quarter, but had it wiped away due to a penalty.

The six-sack performance gives the 49ers nine total through two preseason games.

Ponder Scores Game-winning touchdown in 49ers Debut

Christian Ponder's first drive with the 49ers resulted in six points. Ponder engineered a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with the quarterback scrambling 22 yards into the end zone. The score broke a 17-17 tie and put the 49ers back in the lead, 24-17. He finished the drive 5-of-6 passing for 33 yards.

For an encore, Ponder orchestrated a 5-play, 83-yard touchdown drive to put the 49ers up 31-17. Ponder completed both pass attempts on the drive: a 23-yard toss to Je'Ron Hamm and a 30-yard touchdown to Dres Anderson. Kelvin Taylor's 24-yard run assisted the scoring drive.

Ponder's final stat line: 7-of-8 passing for 86 yards and one score as well as the 22-yard touchdown run.

Not bad for a guy who didn't join the roster until Tuesday of this week.

Niner Nuggets

  • The Broncos tested Keith Reaser twice in the end zone, and both times the 49ers cornerback was up for the challenge. It's been a solid month for the second-year cornerback.
  • Cornerbacks Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker and Marcus Cromartie got reps at safety as they continue to cross-train. Acker intercepted Lynch at the end of the game to seal the 49ers victory.
  • Mike Davis ripped off a 19-yard run in the second quarter.
  • The 49ers longest play from scrimmage was a 40-yard completion from Jeff Driskel to Devon Cajuste.
  • San Francisco's running backs lost three fumbles. Davis lost two and DuJuan Harris fumbled on the goal line.
  • Jerod-Eddie (chest), Eli Harold (chest), Bryce Treggs (knee) and Bellore (knee) all left Saturday's game due to injury. Harold had the wind knocked out of him per the 49ers public relations staff. Treggs limped to the sideline following a 25-yard reception in the second quarter.
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