Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum (4) of the Denver Broncos fumbles the ball after a hit by San D.J. Reed of the San Francisco 49ers during the 49ers' 20-14 win on Sunday, Dec. 9. (Photo: Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
The Denver Broncos struggled mightily in the first half.
And it cost them the game.
The Broncos trailed the San Francisco 49ers 20-0 at halftime and they eventually fell, 20-14, Sunday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
49ers tight end George Kittle embodied San Francisco's rip-roaring first half. He racked up seven catches for 210 yards and a touchdown in the first two quarters. He scored on an 85-yard catch and run.
The Broncos rallied in the second half.
They held Kittle without a catch in the final two quarters.
Phillip Lindsay scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 6:05 left in the third quarter. Wide receiver DaeSean hamilton caught his first-ever touchdown pass, a one-yard reception with 3:53 left in the game.
But the Broncos defense could not get a stop and get the ball back.
49ers quarterback Nick Mullens moved the sticks with a 31-yard completion to Dante Pettis on third-and-seven with three-and-a-half minutes to go.
Then a minute later, Mullens found Trent Taylor on a 6-yard pass to get a first down on third-and-two.
The Broncos slip to 6-7 while the 49ers are now 3-10.
The Broncos playoffs hopes certainly took a hit. They are one game out of the final AFC playoff spot but they trail four teams who are all 7-6.
The Broncos will host the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, Dec. 15. Coverage starts at 12 p.m. MST on KOA NewsRadio 850 AM and 94.1 FM.
Check out KOA NewsRadio postgame interviews after the loss to San Francisco.
First half highlights on KOA NewsRadio.
Second half highlights on KOA NewsRadio.
The NFL playoff picture after games on Sunday, Dec. 9.