The Denver Broncos offensive line took another step forward Saturday in its quest to prove that last year’s failings are a thing of the past. After showing positive signs against the Bears in the first preseason game against the Bears last week, the line continued to look better in a 33-14 victory over the 49ers in Santa Clara. The only major mark against the O-line on Sunday night was the play of rookie left tackle Garett Bolles, who was flagged for four penalties.

The Denver offense produced a pair of rushing touchdowns in the victory, beginning with an opening-drive one-yard touchdown rush by C.J. Anderson. It took Anderson three tries from the goal line, but he did finally barrel his way across to give Denver an early lead. Juwan Thompson capped the Broncos’ scoring in the fourth quarter with a 20-yard run off the left edge.

On the night, Denver produced 146 rushing yards by six ball carriers (including two quarterbacks) for an impressive 4.3-yard rushing average. All four Broncos running backs posted at least one double-digit run, with Thompson’s TD run leading the way.

Connor McGovern, starting at center in place of Matt Paradis who is still recovering from offseason hip surgery, struggled in the goal-line situation but responded with some nice blocks later in the game.

Allen Barbre, who is in stiff competition with Max Garcia at left guard, helped spring rookie De’Angelo Henderson for a nice 12-yard run and also opened up a hole for Anderson to run for eight.

Menelik Watson, who struggled against the Bears, managed to stay off the radar in Santa Clara – always a positive sign for a right tackle.

Bolles made his second NFL start and was flagged four times in the game. He began the night with a false start that played a part in a three-and-out, then was hit with three holding calls on three different drives. His holding call to open a second-quarter drive moved Denver out of 49ers territory, although the Broncos would recover enough to put Brandon McManus in position to hit a 51-yard field goal. His final holding call of the night negated a nine-yard touchdown catch and run by Henderson.

Bolles’ penalties were signs the rookie still has learning to do, but one of the other tackles in competition for a job didn’t fare particularly well either. Ty Sambrailo surrendered a sack of Kyle Sloter and had a holding penalty of his own declined.

In all, it was a good night for the line in the running game. Pass protection needs some improvement, still, but it was overall a promising night for the offensive line.

As the game unfolded, the team at MHS was keeping an eye on the play by the O-line. Here’s some of what they had to say, along with input from some of our favorite follows, on Twitter.