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49ers at Wembley…We’ve been here before. (Part 3)

October 24, 2013

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We continue looking at the 49ers previous visits to Wembley ahead of their international series game against the Jaguars in the same venue on October 27th.

It would be 18 years before the 49ers would return to London. However, this time it would not be a pre-season exhibition game but a fully fledge regular season game.

The NFL had introduced the historic international series in 2005 when the 49ers beat the Cardinals in Mexico City in the first regular season game to be played outside of the US.

In 2007 the series moved to London when the Giants beat the Dolphins in the first regular season game to be played at Wembley.

It has a home here until at least 2016 but it was back in 2010 when the niners first travelled to London for the series in a matchup with the Denver Broncos.

Mike Singletary was the 49ers coach on this occasion and he faced similar to Seifert a quarterback problem of his own. Alex Smith had begun the season as starter but poor performances had made Singletary to start backup Troy Smith.

Geographical closeness allowed myself watch the 49ers in the flesh for the first time since going to Candlestick a few years earlier.

After Michelle Williams and Guitarist Jeff Beck had played the American and British national anthems the 83,941 fans in the stadium roared its approval when Denver and San Francisco legends John Elway and Jerry Rice came on to the turf for the coin toss.

Unfortunately, the excitement was not reflected on the field as both teams failed to get a grip of the game in the first half. The only score a Joe Nedley field goal came at the end of 7 and a half-minute drive in the first quarter to leave the score 3-0 to the 49ers at half time.

The game started to come to life in the third quarter when Denver’s Kyle Orton threw a 71 pass to WR Brandon Lloyd leading to Tim Tebow to run from 1 yard for the game’s first touchdown.

The 49ers then missed a field goal and were nearly punished when Orton found Jabar Gaffney on a 38 yard Touchdown pass only for it to be called back due to a penalty. The Broncos did kick a 32 yard field goal to lead 10-3 going in to the last quarter.

The fourth quarter saw Troy Smith complete his first big pass to Delanie Walker for a 38-yards and ended the drive by carrying the ball over himself from one yard to tie the game at 10-10.

Energised from this on their next drive Smith threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree to put the niners in front again.

When 49ers linebacker Manny Lawson stripped the ball from Orton to give possession back to Smith the Niners forced home their advantage with Gore crossing the goal line to make it 24-10.

The game still had some excitement and when Lloyd crossed the line for his second Touchdown for the Broncos it seemed we were back to a one score game but then surprisingly Sparter missed the extra point to leave 8 between.

As the Broncos pushed for the needed touchdown 49ers Spencer intercepted the ball with 39 seconds left on the clock that allowed them run down the clock and leave Wembley as 24-16 winners.

The success lifted their season momentarily but would end outside the playoffs with Mike Singletary removed as head coach.

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