The Denver Broncos would get their first victory of the 2013-2014 season. The Broncos would defeat the San Francisco Forty Niners in an underwhelming 10-6 victory in the first preseason game.
John Fox would not allow many of his starters to go very long. QB Peyton Manning would only play one series. He would go 2-4 for 15 yards. Backup QB Brock Osweiler would play most of the game under center. Although he wasn't able to find the end zone, he had a respectable game going 13-18 for 105 yards.
The only touchdown in the entire game would could from the Broncos defense. New Broncos pass rusher DE/LB Shaun Phillips would walk into the end zone for a 9 yard TD after MLB Nate Irving would dislodge the ball in the 2nd quarter. The Broncos would only manage another field goal in the 4th quarter after that, but it would be enough for the victory.
If it weren't for Denver's defense, the victory could have easily been a loss. The offense was less than impressive, but Denver's defense managed to force 4 turnovers off of 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions.
There was one player that really stuck out on defense Thursday and that was safety Duke Ihenacho. He finished with 7 tackles, 1 pass deflected and 1 tackle for a loss. However, his stat line would not do him justice. Ihenacho seemed like he was everywhere against the Niners, causing much havoc in short playing time. If #33 continues to play like he did tonight, it won't be long before the California native is a household name.
There was one other Bronco that stood out and that was TE Julius Thomas. Thomas did not have a gaudy stat line, but he was effective every time the ball was thrown to him. Thomas would end up with a game high 4 catches for 35 yards. Thomas has the potential to be a star in this league, but having potential and meeting one's potential are two different things. Nevertheless, Thomas looked good. It is becoming more and more evident Thomas will be one of the two TEs for Denver that sees the majority of playing time. This means a big name guy like Jacob Tamme could be cut.
Despite the victory, the Broncos played far from a complete game. As expected in a first game, the team looked a bit off. The offense will look to continue to improve each and every game. Thursday was far from perfect, but the team got the victory and they will look to build from there.