A play that at one point had Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett frowning turned out to be the one that gave his team its margin of victory Sunday night as the Broncos beat the San Francisco 49ers 11-10 at Empower Field at Mile High.
In the third quarter, with San Francisco leading 7-3, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo dropped back in his own end zone.
And back. And back.
He eventually ran out of room and stepped out of the end zone, triggering a call of safety that awarded Denver two points.
Safety for the Broncos!
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2022
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) September 26, 2022
Jimmy Garoppolo dropped back — all the way back — out of the end zone for a safety. That’s something you don’t see every day.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) September 26, 2022
At the time, the call seemed like a gift for San Francisco, because Garoppolo had thrown an interception that Denver’s Bradley Chubb took into the end zone. That would have given the Broncos a 9-7 lead instead of trailing 7-5 with the safety.
“Wish he wouldn’t have stepped out on that one,” Hackett said after the game, according to ESPN.
In a game where Jimmy Garoppolo took a safety, the 49ers ended up losing by one. That has to sting. pic.twitter.com/ZedYuvAfwQ
— John Breech (@johnbreech) September 26, 2022
— TWCSPORTS (@twcsports) September 26, 2022
One person was overjoyed — NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky, who has lived in infamy since a 2008 game when, as a quarterback for the Detroit Lions, he wandered far afield out of the end zone while trying to find a receiver, handing the Minnesota Vikings two points.
— NFL Legacy (@NFLLegacy) September 26, 2022
“IVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER,” Orlovsky tweeted Sunday night. “FFFFREEEEEDDDOOOMMMM.”
IVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) September 26, 2022
“That was a tough situation that I put him in,” San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said about Garoppolo. “They had one unblocked guy coming. I wish we had time for the big play. Could have ditched it. But it was a tough situation.”
“That was a tough situation that I put him in.”
Kyle Shanahan took the blame for the Jimmy Garoppolo safety. pic.twitter.com/SuVyXgh2SH
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) September 26, 2022
Garoppolo echoed his coach, according to NFL.com.
“It was a tough situation,” he said. “I was just trying to find some time on the play. It was a tough situation. It was altogether just a sloppy day. I think we had one clean drive and got points off it. Other than that, the defense really kept us in the game. Overall, it was a sloppy day.”
The Broncos scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to move ahead 11-10 but failed to connect on the 2-point conversion attempt. It didn’t matter, as the 49ers fumbled away any chances of a game-winning field goal at the end.
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2022
Garoppolo, who started because No. 1 quarterback Trey Lance suffered a fractured ankle a week ago against Seattle, said after the game that he was not yet in sync with the team.
“We were terrible today. I’ve just got to get on the same page with those guys. We have to convert those,” he said.
Garoppolo noted he was a little sore.
“Oh yeah, my arm is feeling it right now,” the quarterback said. “I didn’t really go through training camp. I’m not trying to make excuses or anything, but I’ve just got to get in game shape and get rolling.”
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