It’s been a long road trip, but gameday has finally arrived at Wembley Stadium. It’s been a busy week, but more or less business as usual with practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before moving into a hotel in London on Friday. On Saturday, the team went through a walk through at Wembley before attending a rally at Trafalgar square. The biggest news of the week came just before Wednesday’s practice when Singletary announced that Troy Smith would start at quarterback.
If you have any questions for Ted Robinson in this week’s “Teddy Football,” please add them in the comments section as I’ll talk to him roughly an hour before kickoff.
Here’s a photo gallery from today’s game.
49ers – WR Kyle Williams, QB Alex Smith, CB Tarell Brown, T Barry Sims, C Eric Heitmann, T Alex Boone, WR Jason Hill
Broncos - QB Brady Quinn (3rd QB), S Darcel Bath, CB Perrish Cox, LB Robert Ayers, LB Wesley Woodyard, OL Eric Olsen, OL Chris Clark, DL Kevin Vickerson
The Denver Broncos won the toss and elected to receive. The Broncos began their drive at the 32. Knowshon Moreno got the carry on 1st down and picked up 3. On 3rd and 4, the Broncos tried a trick reverse to Demaryius Thomas, but Justin Smith kept the edge and he was stopped short. Britton Colquitt did not get off a good punt and it rolled out of bounds at the 42.
On 2nd down, Troy Smith faked the handoff and tried to hit Michael Crabtree deep, but the throw was too long. Westbrook got the carry on 3rd and 7, but didn’t get much as the 49ers had to punt. Lee’s punt stuck in the soft pitch and was downed at the 3.
Manny Lawson nearly picked of Orton on the first play of the drive as he dove and got one hand on it. On 2nd down, Orton hit Jabar Gaffney over the middle for a gain of 18. Moreno broke a big run on the very next play and Willis brought him down after a gain of 17. Orton threw behind Brondon Lloyd on the next play but Lloyd made a nice play to adjust and pick up 17. The Broncos continued to move the ball well as Moreno picked up 5 to the right side. Willis wrapped up Moreno for a loss of 1 after the Broncos tried to set up the screen. On 3rd and 6, the 49ers brought pressure and Orton took the sack. It appeared that Justin smith touched him first. Ginn reversed his field on the punt return, drawing applause from the London crowd, but he couldn’t pick up much as he was stopped at the 19.
Smith hit Walker on a screen to start the drive for a gain of 6. Gore got the 49ers a first down on a run that he bounced to the left for 13 yards. On 3rd and 8, Smith hit Vernon Davis on a short slant for the first down. Two plays later, Smith hit Walker on another short slant for 10 yards and another first down. On 2nd down, Smith somehow got the ball to Westbrook on the screen and he picked up 9 yards for a first down. On the next play, Gore picked up 7 on a physical run up the middle to get just inside the red zone. On 3rd and short, Gore was stopped just shy of the marker. Nedney came on and connected on a 34-yard field goal to give the 49ers the early lead.
49ers 3 – Broncos 0
Thomas returned the kickoff to the 26. Orton hit Royal on a quick pass to the left side, but Brandon Lloyd was called for offensive PI. That’s the way the quarter came to an end.
Highlight Reel: Troy Smith did a great job to avoid the sack and get the ball to Westbrook for 9 yards and a first down. It came at an important drive as it kept the drive moving.
Standout Stat: The Broncos were 0-2 on 3rd downs.
Put it in Perspective: The Broncos have been able to move the ball effectively early, but the 49ers defense has stepped up on third downs. It was encouraging to see Smith take a shot deep for Crabtree on the first drive as it shows confidence in the quarterback.
The second quarter began with a well set up screen to Moreno who picked up 5. Orton then hit Graham for the first down on a check down on the next play. Orton hit Royal on a screen, but the 49ers closed with a solid tackle. Ginn fielded the punt around the 5 and made the first man miss before racing out past the 20.
Ginn got the handoff on a reverse to start the drive and picked up 9, very close to a first down. Gore got the first down on a short pickup up the middle. On 3rd and 6, Smith couldn’t find and open man and looked for Crabtree late, but the pass was too wide. Anthony Dixon was called for a face mask penalty on the return, giving the Broncos 15 more yards.
The Broncos started their drive at the 31. Orton had plenty of time to throw on 2nd down and hit Gaffney for 14 yards over the middle. On 3rd and 8, Orton avoided the sack and scrambled out past the 50, but he was still short of the first down. Ginn called for the fair catch at the 11.
On 2nd down, Gore bounced the run to the left side and picked up 21, before Dawkins closed. Gore ran out at the 38. Two plays later, Gore was stopped just shy of the 45 on the draw play. On 3rd and 4, Smith tried to hit Morgan on a slant, but the pass was too high. Lee’s punt was low and rolled. Thomas picked it up and dove forward at the 19.
On 2nd down, Lawson brought down Orton for the sack, but he was called for roughing the passer as Lawson inadvertently touched Orton’s helmet as he dove to the ground.
***Just received word from our PR staff that Vernon Davis has an ankle sprain and is doubtful.
On 3rd and 3, Orton hit Gronkowski for just enough to get the first down. Two plays later, Clements came on the blitz and Orton hit Lloyd to the opposite side to move the sticks once again. Orton then looked for Gaffney who was hit immediately by Willis to knock the ball loose. On 2nd and long, Justin Smith brought down Orton for a sack that put them in 3rd and 23. Orton hit Buckhalter on 3rd down who was stopped short of the original line of scrimmage. The punt went out of bounds with one second left in the half.
Troy Smith took a knee to end the half.
Highlight Reel: Gore looked fast as he beat the Broncos around the left side of the line. Dawkins was able to close to force Gore out, but Gore had nearly broke it for a score.
Standout Stat: Gore had a great first half with 12 carries for 70 yards.
Put it in Perspective: The 49ers defense has played well, holding Denver to 1-6 on 3rd down. They’ve also brought down Orton for 3 sacks and there’s nothing to complain about when you hold a team scoreless. The 49ers offense has moved the ball at times, but they need to be consistent in order to sustain drives. Gore has been effective, but more balance on offense will certainly help him out in the second half. The 49ers’ lead is just three so it’s still anyone’s ball game.
The 49ers started their drive at the 22 after the return by Ginn. Gore found some running room up the middle on 2nd down and was stopped just short of the first down. On 3rd and inches, Gore gained two yards and picked up the first down. On the next play, Ginn rolled, gave a pump fake to the defender and threw a strike to Crabtree for another first down. The play was followed by a “BRILLIANT” sound effect from the in-stadium speakers. On 3rd and 7, Smith handed the ball to Gore on a draw, but he was stopped for just a short gain. The fair catch was called for at the 11.
On 3rd and 6, Orton avoided a sack and scrambled for the first down. Orton play faked and hit Brandon Lloyd who was hauled down at the 1-yard line by Mays. Tim Tebow came in and ran it in for the score.
Broncos 7 – 49ers 3
Ginn was brought down at the 22 on the kick return. Smith hit Gore on a screen on the first play of the drive for 7 yards. On 3rd and short, Smith hit Morgan crossing for a gain of 32. Smith had to hurry his thrown on 3rd down for Walker and he didn’t see it. Nedney’s 52-yard attempt hit the upright.
On the first play of the drive, Moreno took the toss right and was met hard by Mays for a short gain. On 3rd and 8, Manny Lawson came on a stunt up the middle and crushed Orton as he threw. Orton stayed down for a minuted and was able to walk off the field. Brady Quinn is the third quarterback, so if Orton remains out, Tim Tebow would be the QB. Reggie Smith was called for holding on the punt so the 49ers will start their drive from the 7.
Gore picked up 7 yards on 2nd down on a run up the middle. On 3rd and 1, Gore got the handoff on the draw and was stopped for a loss. Royal was stopped at the 42 on the punt return.
Orton remained in the game for Denver. On 1st down, Orton hit Lloyd for a big gain out past the SF 40. The Broncos went with the flea flicker on the next play, but they were called for a chop block which negated the touchdown pass to Gaffney. On 1st and 25, Buckhalter caught the screen pass from Orton for a gain of 8. That’s the end of the third quarter.
Highlight Reel: The Broncos play action pass to Brandon Lloyd shifted momentum in the Broncos favor. The hit Manny Lawson put on Orton would be a close second. The hit was textbook and it helped the defense get off the field on 3rd down.
Standout Stat: The 49ers have just 86 yards passing through this point in the game.
Put it in Perspective: The 49ers dodged a bullet with the chop block penalty that negated a touchdown. The game is still within reach, but the 49ers really need a stop on this current drive to keep it a one score game.
Orton hit Thomas who picked up 31 yards and a first down. The 49ers defense held strong after that, forcing three incompletions. Matt Prater hit a 32-yard field goal to give the Broncos a touchdown lead.
Broncos 10 – 49ers 3
Ginn had his best return of the game, taking it out to the 44. On 2nd and 20, Smith stepped up and hit Delanie Walker on a deep post for a 27-yard gain. On the next play, Smith threw it off his back foot to Walker down to the 1-yard line. On 2nd down, Smith rolled right on the bootleg and took it in for the score to tie the game up at 10.
49ers 10 – Broncos 10
Thomas was brought down at the 20 by Bowman on the kickoff return. After a false start, Orton hit Royal on a screen for a gain of 10. Tebow got the carry on 2nd down, but Willis was there to meet him for no gain. On 3rd and 4, Orton threw it to Moreno on an out, but Willis was right there to haul him down after a gain of 2. Colquitt’s punt was short and took a 49ers bounce back to the 47.
On 2nd down, Smith threw a dart to Crabtree along the right sideline for a gain of 13. Two plays later, Smith found Crabtree along the left sideline who made the catch and spun in for the touchdown from 28 yards out.
49ers 17 – Broncos 10
Lawson stripped Orton from behind as he scrambled. Spiked recovered and the 49ers got the ball at the 18.
On 3rd and short, Gore plunged ahead to move the chains. 1st and goal at the 5, Gore picked up a couple down to the 2. Norris got the carry on 2nd down and actually lost a yard back to the 3. Gore made good on 3rd down, getting good push from the offensive line for the 3-yard score.
49ers 24 – Broncos 10
With just 3:47 left in the game, I’ll have to run down to get ready for postgame, but follow us on Twitter for more updates.
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