San Francisco, CA – Shaun Phillips' fumble return for a touchdown proved to be the difference as the Denver Broncos took a 10-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the preseason opener for both clubs on Thursday.
Peyton Manning played just one series and went 2-for-4 for 13 yards while Brock Osweiler was 13-for-18 for 105 yards and Matt Prater kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter for the Broncos, who went 13-3 last season to win the AFC West, winning their final 11 games in the regular season before losing to Baltimore in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 32-yard field goal from Phil Dawson on the first drive of the game and finished his brief stint on the field 4-for-4 with 38 yards.
Dawson later added a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for San Francisco, which lost to Baltimore in the Super Bowl after going 11-4-1 in the regular season and winning the NFC West.
Phillips recovered a Kassim Osgood fumble deep in San Fran territory and took it into the end zone from nine yards out in the second quarter to give the Broncos a 7-3 lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, Dawson connected on his second field goal of the game with around 10 minutes to play to make it a one-point contest, but Prater hit his 46-yarder with close to three minutes to play as the Broncos hung on for the win.