DELTA — If you enjoy offence, I hope you did not have to wait all day for “Sunday Night Football” this past weekend.
The Denver Broncos, who were held scoreless into the fourth quarter at home for the second straight week, looked anaemic offensively for most of the evening. However, they managed to put together a 12-play, 80-yard march that ended with a one-yard Melvin Gordon touchdown run, which was Denver’s first in seven red zone opportunities this season. This led to an ugly-looking 11-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
San Francisco had two more opportunities to gain possession of the ball, but the Broncos were able to win thanks to a Jimmy Garoppolo interception just before the two-minute warning and a Jeff Wilson Jr. fumble with 65 seconds left.
The game-winning interception was made by linebacker Jonas Griffith, a former member of the 49ers practise squad, and the outstanding play by dime defensive back P.J. Locke while pursuing Wilson resulted in the turnover that ended the game.
Overall, the strong defence of Denver had a standout performance, but neither offence had a good night.
In part because Jimmy Garoppolo followed up the memorable Dan Orlovsky safety by sprinting out of the back of the end zone during the third quarter, San Francisco led for the most of the game. Denver scored two points, but would have scored a touchdown because outside linebacker Bradley Chubb’s interception of Garoppolo’s throw—which occurred with both of his feet out of bounds—was returned for what would have been a touchdown.
Apart from that, both offences fought valiantly for the most of the evening.
It took the 49ers until the 3:25 mark of the fourth quarter to convert one of their first nine third-down attempts.
Eight of the Broncos’ first 11 possessions ended in three-and-outs until Wilson designed the late touchdown drive.
Even if it was occasionally ugly for Denver, the squad enjoyed by far the finest day of anybody in the prestigious AFC West, which is usually regarded as the strongest division in football. Sunday saw losses for the other three AFC West clubs. Los Angeles Chargers were trounced 38-10 by Jacksonville, Tennessee defeated Las Vegas 24-22, and Kansas City dropped to 2-1 after losing to Indianapolis 20-17.