San Francisco 49ers V Denver Broncos
31 Oct 2010 - 5:00 PM
San Francisco 49ers 24 - 16 Denver Broncos
NFL International Series
San Francisco ran out winners of the fourth regular season NFL match at Wembley, overcoming a stubborn Denver defence in a fourth quarter blitz of three touchdowns.
The opening half was largely absent of any major action, with just a Joe Nedney field goal to shout about and Denver looked like they had taken a decisive in the third, opening up a seven pooint lead going into the final spell of the match.
Troy Smith suddenly found his passing range with two low key passes for more than 30 yards that both led to touchdowns, he would complete the first and Michael Crabtree the second. Frank Gore carried the third score and put them in the boxseat.
With all the usual glitz and glamour coming to London as it has done since the series came to Wembley in 2007, the fans once again turned out in force to see two of the biggest names in NFL history go toe to toe.
The ceremony of anthems and pre-game show from My Chemical Romance at a close, the only thing remaining was the football and San Francisco defended the opening drive by Denver strongly, snuffing out the first three plays for just four yard loss.
The 49ers fared no better and were forced to punt and for their second drive Denver found far mor consistency as they attacked from a deep position inside their own ten yard line. The drive was ended with a nine yard loss on the third down, the home side quelling the offence with a sack on the 50 yard line.
Troy Smith passed the first successful drive and although the 12 phases of play didn't end in a touchdown, the lucky 13th play saw a field goal on the fourth down kicked by Joe Nedney to score the first points of the 2010 International Series.
For the majority of the first half and beginning of the second, it was defence the prevailed as neither team was able to open up a consistent rhythm going forward.
Less than seven minutes into the third quarter, Kyle Orton lit up Wembley with a Hail Mary play to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, making a 71 yard play and taking the Broncos to within a yard of the endzone.
Broncos reserve quarterback, Tim Tebow, carried the ball over the line and Matt Prater completed the conversion to give the visitors a four point advantage.
In their responding drive the 49ers attempted a 52 yard field goal, but Joe Nedney's firm effort hit the right upright and bounced back onto the field. It was a moment of misfortune for the home team, but a reward for the stubborn Denver defence that again prevented a score.
Denver were denied a further touchdown in the third as Knowshon Moreno was flagged for a chop block, a decision that kept San Francisco in touch going into the final quarter of the game.
Britton Colquitt kicked a field goal 47 seconds into the final quarter, leaving the 49ers a touchdown behind.
Just when it seemed they were running out of ideas, Delanie Walker caught an unlikey 38 yard pass from Smith to carry the 49ers to within a yard of the Bronco's endzone. Troy Smith carried the ball over the line and when Joe Nedney's kick was good, the scores were level.
Michael Crabtree took the 49ers back into the lead with the second touchdown of the fouth quarter. The 28 yard completion gave the home side a seven point lead with seven minutes left.
San Francisco were rampant now and when Takeo Spikes recovered a fumble from Orton it was looking ominous. Frank Gore carried it successfully to score and extend their lead.
Brandon Lloyd scored a Broncos touchdownwithless than three mnutes on the clock, but when Matt Prater's attempted kick was no good it effectively ended their hopes of getting anything from the game.