Drew Lock suffered a thumb injury and the Denver Broncos lost but which players still managed to show out in Week 2 of the preseason against the 49ers?
The Denver Broncos welcomed a returning Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers to Mile High Stadium on Monday Night Football in Week 2 of the preseason. Though Von Miller wasn’t on the field, the early story for this game was the Broncos defense as they ruined Jimmy G’s returned, holding him to just one completion for zero passing yards and picking him off in the process.
As good as the defense was, though, the offense left a bit to be desired. Joe Flacco was fine but Drew Lock continued to show growing pains. Furthermore, the rookie quarterback suffered a hand injury that took him off the field and will keep him out for some time. Kevin Hogan then came in and he wasn’t much better either.
In the end, the Broncos suffered a 24-15 loss at the hands of the 49ers as the San Francisco backups scored three touchdowns in the second half. Wins and losses this time of year don’t matter, though, as we’re simply looking for which players seem ready to contribute at high levels.
Having that in mind, these were the Denver Broncos’ three big standouts on Monday night in their preseason tilt against the 49ers.
3. Shelby Harris, DT
As the majority of the starters for both teams took the field early, the Broncos defensive line wreaked havoc against San Francisco. The somewhat unlikely big contributor in that effort was defensive tackle Shelby Harris, who was seemingly getting his name called on the broadcast after every play.
Harris finished his night with two tackles and two pass defenses as he got his big, long arms up in the way of Jimmy Garoppolo passes to swat them down. Harris was continually pushing the interior of the offensive line and showing solid movement in space to make plays. If he can play at this level come the regular season, the Denver defensive front could be downright frightening.
2. Emmanuel Sanders, WR
While Emmanuel Sanders may have only notched one catch for five yards on the official box score, he looked much better than that would have you believe. Not only did he also get a 19-yard carry to his credit but he had an explosive 45-yard reception called back thanks to holding on the offensive line. In terms of his matchup, the Denver Broncos wideout was winning.
Not far removed from an Achilles injury, Sanders is defying the injury odds by looking this good so soon after he couldn’t see the field. He was quick, electric and seemingly ready to make an impact come Week 1 of the regular season. That’s a huge boom for Joe Flacco and the Denver Broncos offense if that’s the case.
1. Bradley Chubb, EDGE
Entering his second NFL season and ready to play opposite of Von Miller, Bradley Chubb could be primed for a huge season in Denver. If Monday night was any indication, the NC State product is about to make life miserable for offensive tackles around the league.
Even matching up against consummate Pro Bowler Joe Staley early in the game, Chubb was a monster in terms of creating pressure, living in the backfield of the 49ers. He finished his time on the field with three total tackles, two quarterback hits and a strip-sack to his credit. Put simply, he was nearly unstoppable when lined up on the edge.
Expect big things from Chubb if this is the type of performance he’s ready to put forth in his second NFL season.