49ers
Broncos
26 - 23 Final
  for this game

49ers ruin Denver's playoff plans; Chiefs get wild-card berth

Jan 1, 2007 - 4:08 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- The Denver Broncos benefited from a botched snap on an extra-point attempt last week. They had no such luck this time.

Joe Nedney kicked a 36-yard field goal with 1:56 left in overtime to lift the San Francisco 49ers to a 26-23 upset of Denver, preventing the Broncos from making the playoffs.

Denver (9-7), which had made the postseason each of the last three seasons, needed a win or a tie in the regular-season finale to earn an AFC wild-card berth.

But the Broncos squandered a 13-point lead against the Niners (7-9), who had lost four of their previous five games.

"We are very disappointed," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "We had a chance to make the playoffs and didn't get it done. One bad day and you are out in this league. It can happen quickly as we found out."

"San Francisco?" Broncos rookie wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. "Come on, San Francisco? It was a perfect setup for us."

The beneficiary was the Kansas City Chiefs, who needed a win on Sunday and losses by Cincinnati, Tennessee and Denver to make the playoffs. Cincinnati was beaten by Pittsburgh and Tennessee fell to New England earlier in the day while the Chiefs beat Jacksonville.

Nedney's fourth field goal of the game ended up sending the Chiefs to the playoffs.

"The power of 70,000 people not saying a word is pretty cool," Nedney said. "To shut them up with one swing of the leg is pretty cool."

Last week, Denver was about to go into overtime against Cincinnati, but the Bengals botched the extra-point attempt. Brad St. Louis' wide snap could not be handled by holder Kyle Larson and the Broncos held on for a 24-23 victory.

That put Denver in control of its playoff destiny, but the Broncos could not take advantage. Instead, they lost for the fifth time in seven games and let an AFC West rival sneak in for the postseason spot.

"I know the tradition of the Broncos. They go to the playoffs year after year, so I know it's bad we didn't make it," said Broncos rookie running back Mike Bell.

On San Francisco's second possession in overtime, the Niners drove 42 yards to the Denver 18. Wide receiver Bryan Gilmore gained 20 yards on a reverse and caught a 14-yard pass from Alex Smith on a 3rd-and-8 play to set up Nedney's winning kick in overtime.

As the ball sailed through the uprights, Broncos safety John Lynch slammed his helmet on the grass.

"You better believe it felt good taking them (the Broncos) out," said Smith, who was 17-of-32 for 194 yards and one touchdown with one interception. "If we were going to be home for the playoffs, we wanted them to be right with us."

Frank Gore, who was selected as a Pro Bowl starter, rushed for 153 yards on 31 carries for the Niners and finished with an NFC-best 1,695 yards.

The Broncos tied the game, 23-23, when Jay Cutler, who was sidelined by a hard hit in the first half, connected with fellow rookie Tony Scheffler on a nine-yard touchdown pass with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter. Cutler showed the poise of a veteran on the game-tying 10-play, 80-yard drive.

"I was a little dinged up," said Cutler, who was 21-of-32 for 230 yards and a touchdown with an interception. "My head was swimming a little bit. But I was fine in the second half."

In the overtime, Cutler was unable to lead the team into field-goal range in two possessions.

The Broncos were also unable to score on three possessions inside the San Francisco 5, settling for three field goals by Jason Elam.

"Whenever you get on the one-yard line twice and in the red zone three times and you don't score no touchdowns, that's pathetic," Marshall said.

Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey returned his league-leading 10th interception 70 yards for a touchdown with 2:09 left in the second quarter to give the Broncos a 13-0 lead.

The Niners responded with the next 17 points. Nedney kicked a 46-yard field goal with four seconds left in the half to start it off.

Then in a span of 1:27 midway through the third quarter, fullback Moran Norris caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Smith and cornerback Walt Harris returned an interception 28 yards for a score, giving the Niners a 17-13 advantage.

"That pick I just floated it out there," Cutler said. "They got a little pressure and I was trying to hit S.A. (Stephen Alexander) but I didn't put enough on it."

Elam kicked a 22-yard field goal with 1:45 left in the third quarter.

Nedney kicked field goals of 29 and 46 yards in the fourth quarter.

The Niners won three more games than they did last season under coach Mike Nolan.

"This was a big win for us," Nolan said. "We were playing for something in this game. I mean 7-9 was not our ultimate goal, but it sounds awfully good after being 4-12 last year."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH
    --- --- --- ---
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 3 14 6
    DENVER 3 10 3 7
    OT TOTAL
    --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 26
    DENVER 0 23 FINAL IN OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DEN - FG, JASON ELAM 22 YD, 14:17. Drive: 8
    plays, 36 yard

    Dec 31 8:03 PM


  • NFL
    FG SFO
    JOE NEDNEY 36 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 26
    DENVER 23 1:56 LEFT, 1ST OT

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 8:03 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 75 roots

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 8:03 PM


  • NFL
    END, 4TH QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 3 14 6 23
    DENVER 3 10 3 7 23 GOING INTO OVERTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DEN - FG, JASON ELAM 22 YD, 14:17. Drive: 8
    plays, 36 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    15-yard uneccasary penalty on
    49ers' Roman to San Francisco 25;
    12-yard roughing the passer penal

    Dec 31 7:35 PM
  • 75
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 11 roots

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 7:35 PM
  • 86
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 14 roots

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 7:34 PM


  • NFL
    TD DEN
    TONY SCHEFFLER 9 YD PASS FROM JAY CUTLER
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 23
    DENVER 23 1:30 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 7:30 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 52 roots

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 7:30 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 7:26 PM


  • NFL
    FG SFO
    JOE NEDNEY 46 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 23
    DENVER 16 6:14 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 7:19 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mark Added 5 roots

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 7:19 PM


  • NFL
    FG SFO
    JOE NEDNEY 29 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 20
    DENVER 16 11:57 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 6:46 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 3 14 17
    DENVER 3 10 3 16 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DEN - FG, JASON ELAM 22 YD, 14:17. Drive: 8
    plays, 36 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    15-yard uneccasary penalty on
    49ers' Roman to San Francisco 25;
    12-yard roughing the passer penalty
    on 4

    Dec 31 6:39 PM


  • NFL
    FG DEN
    JASON ELAM 22 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 17
    DENVER 16 1:45 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 6:35 PM


  • NFL
    TD SFO
    WALT HARRIS 28 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 17
    DENVER 13 6:25 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 6:22 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NFL TD SFO
    MORAN NORRIS 32 YD PASS FROM ALEX D. SMITH
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 10
    DENVER 13 7:52 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 6:19 PM


  • NFL
    TD SFO
    MORAN NORRIS 32 YD PASS FROM JUSTIN SMILEY
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 17
    DENVER 13 7:52 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 6:16 PM


  • NFL
    TD SFO
    MORAN NORRIS 32 YD PASS FROM ALEX D. SMITH
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 10
    DENVER 13 7:52 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 6:14 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 3 3
    DENVER 3 10 13 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DEN - FG, JASON ELAM 22 YD, 14:17. Drive: 8
    plays, 36 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    15-yard uneccasary penalty on
    49ers' Roman to San Francisco 25;
    12-yard roughing the passer penalty
    on 49ers

    Dec 31 5:47 PM


  • NFL
    FG SFO
    JOE NEDNEY 46 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 3
    DENVER 13 0:04 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 5:45 PM


  • NFL
    TD DEN
    CHAMP BAILEY 70 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    SAN FRANCISCO 0
    DENVER 13 2:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 5:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG DEN
    JASON ELAM 21 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 0
    DENVER 6 11:19 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 5:04 PM


  • NFL
    FG DEN
    JASON ELAM 22 YD
    SAN FRANCISCO 0
    DENVER 3 0:43 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    49ers vs. BroncosDec 31 4:44 PM