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49ers QB Sam Darnold's Performance in Preseason Game vs. Broncos: Breakdown

Sam Darnold shines in the 49ers' preseason game with an 11-yard touchdown pass, despite a rough start.

In the second preseason game for the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Sam Darnold had a rocky start. However, on the fifth drive, he showcased why the team brought him to the Bay Area.

During the third quarter at Levi's Stadium against the Denver Broncos, Darnold led the 49ers' offense on a nine-play drive that culminated in an 11-yard touchdown pass to fullback Jack Colletto, marking the first touchdown of the game.

Darnold displayed accuracy on this drive, completing four of his five pass attempts. Running back J.P. Mason also contributed with three carries.

But the beginning wasn't as smooth for Darnold. On his first drive, he played behind most of the 49ers' starting offensive line, except for left tackle Trent Williams, who was replaced by Jaylon Moore.

Darnold's first snap involved a handoff to Mason, followed by a completed pass to the running back. However, his second attempt, intended for rookie Ronnie Bell, fell incomplete, resulting in a punt.

Even on his second drive with the backup offensive line, Darnold struggled, leading to another punt. However, he connected with receiver Chris Conley and tight end Charlie Woerner during this series.

Unfortunately, a holding penalty on center Jon Feliciano nullified Darnold's best pass attempt to Jauan Jennings for 21 yards. The drive ended with a nine-yard loss when Darnold was sacked due to the collapsing pocket.

Darnold's third drive also ended in a punt. The series started well with Mason gaining yards on two carries. However, a false start penalty on Nick Zakelj pushed the 49ers back. Despite completing another pass to Bell, Darnold was sacked for a loss of seven yards. In his final play of the first half, he scrambled for 10 yards but couldn't convert for a first down.

By halftime, Darnold had completed five of his six passes for 48 yards.

Recognizing the need for Darnold to gain more game experience, Coach Kyle Shanahan allowed the veteran quarterback to play the first two series of the third quarter.

Darnold's final stats for the night were 11 completions out of 14 attempts for 108 yards. He threw one touchdown pass but also had one interception. The interception occurred when a pass deflected off Bell's hands and into the waiting arms of Broncos cornerback Essaying Bassey.

Overall, despite a shaky start, Darnold's performance improved as the game progressed, showcasing his potential as the 49ers' quarterback.

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