The Denver Broncos offense had a rough time getting going until the fourth quarter in Sunday’s win against the San Francisco 49ers. But a little bit of Mile High Magic and strong defensive play helped them overcome a rough offensive outing.

Denver Broncos offense struggled to move the ball on Sunday

The Denver Broncos offense struggled to get things rolling on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Denver’s first three drives of the game resulted in three and outs after San Francisco’s aggressive approach made it difficult for them to move the ball. The 49ers defense backed the Broncos up twice in the first half, sacking Russell Wilson twice.

49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga blew through the backfield on a first down resulting in a six-yard tackle for loss against Melvin Gordon.

After a big stop by the Denver defense, Montrell Washington moved the ball to the 50 yard line on a punt return, giving the Broncos some momentum.

Unfortunately, two penalties backed the Denver offense up to a 3rd and 16 allowing the 49ers defense to play back and rally to tackle for a stop, forcing a punt.

Denver punted five times in the first half, but luckily the defense forced the 49ers to punt five times as well.

Javonte Williams continued to be a bright spot for the offense early on who had 7 carries for 42 yards in the first half.

San Francisco limited the Broncos to 140 yards in the first half alone, holding them to an average of 4.7 yards per play.

To open up the second half of play, the Broncos would once again go backwards after Nick Bosa came through clean against Cam Fleming resulting in a sack that backed Denver up once again. Fleming has struggled in back-to-back weeks as the Broncos await on Billy Turner to make his season debut.

The Broncos defense rewarded the offense with the ball, but another sack by the 49ers defense backed Denver up yet again.

On their next series Denver’s defense forced a safety after Jimmy Garoppolo stepped out of the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety, making the score 7-5 San Francisco.

By default, the 49ers would kick the ball to Denver and they took over. The offense found a way to move the ball past midfield but failed to convert on 3rd and 3.

The ball never seemed to bounce Denver’s way as Brandon McManus missed a 53-yard field goal, giving the 49ers the ball back near midfield.

Trailing 10-5 in the fourth quarter, with just around eight minutes remaining, some Mile High Magic began to creep in.

Russell Wilson would keep the drive alive by finding Kendall Hinton for a 27-yard gain on 3rd and 10, and then keeping a rush himself for a 12-yard gain on 3rd and 6.

A 19-yard back shoulder throw to Courtland Sutton put Denver into red zone territory, where Melvin Gordon would punch it in from one yard out to give Denver an 11-10 lead with 4:10 remaining.

Unfortunately, the Broncos failed to convert the two-point conversion that would have given them a 13-10 lead.

The game came down to the defense.

Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers offense had a chance to move downfield to try and win the game.

However, after moving the ball well and earning a 1st and 10 near midfield, Garoppolo’s pass intended for Deebo Samuel was deflected into the air by Kareem Jackson and landed in linebacker Jonas Griffith’s hands giving the Broncos defense a takeaway.

But, with three timeouts and the 2-minute warning, the 49ers defense forced three quick stops forcing Denver to punt the ball away with 1:51 remaining.

Corliss Waitman’s punt was muffed by 49ers returner Ray-Ray McCloud, but was recovered by San Francisco.

Once again, the game came down to one final defensive stop.

On the 49ers’ first play from scrimmage on the drive, Bradley Chubb roared off the right edge, sacking Garoppolo, backing them up deep into the back of their end zone.

On the very next play, Garoppolo found Jeff Wilson Jr. for a dump off pass, but safety P.J. Locke dislodged the ball allowing Kareem Jackson to recover it, allowing Denver to win the game.

Broncos news and notes

The Broncos special teams unit was a bright spot in Sunday’s win.

Aside from having to punt the ball 10 times on Sunday night, an argument can be made that special teams helped win the game.

Corliss Waitman helped pin the 49ers offense back various times throughout the evening, with six punts inside the 20-yard line.

Also, Denver’s kick coverage unit was disciplined and made several return-stopping tackles throughout the evening.

Defensively, the Broncos held San Francisco to just 88 yards rushing on the evening.

In pass rush situations, they were able to get after Jimmy Garoppolo four times with Randy Gregory, Bradley Chubb, Mike Purcell, and Josey Jewell coming up with sacks.

Jewell made his regular season debut and finished with a team-high nine tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery, two quarterback hits, and two tackles for a loss.

Linebacker Jonas Griffith secured the team’s first defensive interception of the season.

Through three games, the Broncos have forced seven fumbles to start the season. Last year, the Broncos only forced six fumbles through 17 games.

Now the Broncos (2-1) shift their sights on a road trip where they’ll take on AFC West division rival Las Vegas Raiders (0-3) in an important early-season showdown. That game kicks off on Oct. 2 at 2:25 p.m. MT in Las Vegas, NV.