Back for the third quarter after downing a couple of magnificent halftime cookies …
4:01 p.m. MST: Still no Al Wilson on the field; Nate Webster remains at middle linebacker … San Francisco’s offense right now seems to consist of getting it to Frank Gore or playfaking to the Pro Bowl tailback before looking downfield. It appears to be working, as the 49ers offense has awoken from its early-game slumber.
4:06 p.m. MST: San Francisco has converted both of its third-down plays early on this drive after being successful on three of nine third downs before intermission. Michael Robinson ran through a Domonique Foxworth tackle attempt for the Niners’ second first down of the half, and San Francisco is at midfield four minutes into the half.
4:10 p.m. MST: Niners now three-of-three on third downs for this drive, and their possession has consumed more than six minutes. This is getting troublesome for the Broncos.
4:12 p.m. MST: Four-of-four, and a touchdown. Denver’s lead is now just 13-10.
4:16 p.m. MST: Jay Cutler is back in the game.
4:18 p.m. MST: Two plays in, and Cutler’s looking downfield, although his shot for Javon Walker was underthrown. Walt Harris had some contact with Walker, but no call was made.
4:19 p.m. MST: The theme of the quarter is third-downs … the Broncos came into the half 0-for-5, and looked to have their first third-down conversion of the day before Stephen Alexander was called for holding, nullifying Cutler’s third-and-7 completion for Brandon Marshall.
4:20 p.m. MST: Disaster strikes as the holding penalty leads to a third-and-17, where Brandon Moore gets pressure up the middle, leading to Cutler throwing as he backpedals, spawning an errant toss for Alexander that Walt Harris corrals and turns into a touchdown that puts the Broncos down for the first time today.
4:24 p.m. MST: Special teams creates some more good field position — to midfield after Quincy Morgan’s 49-yard kickoff return. Cutler quickly finds Rod Smith for 15 yards and a first down. Broncos on the move on what could be a vital drive for their chances of keeping their season alive.
4:26 p.m. MST: A Tony Scheffler catch gets Denver to the 49ers 24, but a Tatum Bell false start pushes the Broncos back five yards. It is the second false-start penalty against someone in the Denver backfield today.
4:29 p.m. MST: Back-to-back catches by Rod Smith have the Broncos at the 49ers 5. But they’ve used two of their three timeouts on this possession.
4:32 p.m. MST: Mark Roman clobbers Cutler from the blind sidze on second-and-goal from the 5; they now face third-and-goal from the 14 … and with the play clock draining, Cutler calls the Broncos’ final timeout, to a chorus of boos from the stands.
4:34 p.m. MST: Another goal-to-go situation, another field goal. Denver trails, 17-16.
4:36 p.m. MST: Darrent Williams questionable to return with a left-shoulder injury. With Curome Cox also injured, Denver will be forced to rely upon Karl Paymah at one cornerback slot and Hamza Abdullah at safety when Domonique Foxworth slides down to handle nickel-back duties. The crowd is loud, but the Broncos are increasingly battered as the quarter concludes.
4:38 p.m. MST: Denver’s third-down defensive struggles continue in the second half; the 49ers are now 5-for-5 after a 5-yard Alex-Smith-to-Taylor Jacobs pass on third-and-4.
Tags: San Francisco 49ers