It’s only technically the second week of preseason, but Denver’s third exhibition game brought some superb play from the first-team offense and defense, respectively.

Denver lost the game 24-15, but the Broncos’ first teams left the game ahead 3-0.

Speaking of those all-important first teams, there were many positives and a few negatives. Let’s get to the takeaways.

Broncos defensive front was dominant

Bradley Chubb and Shelby Harris had a contest to see who could be the best defender on the night. Chubb enjoyed three pressures as well as a strip sack in the game, playing lights-out. He first pressured Jimmy Garoppolo on a stunt which turned into a forced pass and interception by Isaac Yiadom. Later, Chubb power-rushed for a pressure and then used a speed rush around the tackle to strip-sack C.J. Beathard. The second-year stud was in mid-season form, that’s for sure.

Inside, it was the Shelby Harris show, as he enjoyed two batted passes of Garoppolo’s in San Francisco’s first two drives. Later, on a screen pass deep in Denver territory, there was Harris to run down the back and force a 3rd and 16 which led to a punt. Harris was one of the NFL’s best interior lineman in 2018 and he seems up to the task of following that with another great season.

Joe Flacco shows flashes of brilliance

Flacco may be 34 years old, but he certainly looked to still be in his prime — like John Elway said — on Monday night.

On the offense’s first drive, Flacco felt the pressure but stepped up and delivered a strike for a conversion on third down. The next play was Emmanuel Sanders’ end-around which pushed the Broncos into the red zone. Unfortunately, the drive sputtered there and they had to settle for a field goal.

In the next drive, Flacco did it again; he converted on 3rd and 7 by hitting Courtland Sutton on an intermediate route in stride. A few plays later, Flacco went deep to Sanders, and even though it was a little under thrown, he gave the receiver a chance to make a play on the ball which he did. The pass was completed down into San Francisco’s red zone, but the play was called back due to Garett Bolles holding a defender.

While Flacco played well overall, the offensive line struggled mightily and the run game was basically nonexistent for the first team.

Injuries take out two rookies

First-round pick Noah Fant and second-round pick Drew Lock were each injured on Monday night, but the extent of their injuries remains unknown.

The tight end, Fant, was hit hard in the leg and then rolled up on during the first quarter. He limped to the sideline and then was ruled “questionable” before being pulled out of the contest in the second half.

In that second half, the quarterback Lock scrambled and fell, landing on his throwing hand and injuring his throwing thumb. He jumped up and yelled in pain and threw one more pass before being pulled from action to be evaluated by trainers.

Fant’s injury is reportedly not serious while there’s no word yet on Lock’s thumb.

Denver lost the game 24-15, and while there are still many things to work on for the team, there were some bright spots as well.

Next up, the Broncos face the Rams on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. MT.