A week after opening with a dud, the San Francisco 49ers looked more like themselves in a 20-3 exhibition win over the Denver Broncos on Friday night.
Dressed down by coach George Seifert for a ragged performance in a 17-7 loss at Arizona last week, the 49ers (1-1) put on a precision show, particularly the first team.Steve Young completed 7 of 10 passes for 74 yards in a quarter of play, including his first scoring pass of the preseason. He had two interceptions last week, which were among six San Francisco turnovers.
John Elway was held to three completions in nine attempts for 23 yards and Richard Dent and Ken Norton, two of San Francisco's defensive free-agent acquisitions, both turned in strong efforts.
An interested spectator was free-agent cornerback Deion Sanders, who didn't have to be with the Cincinnati Reds because of the baseball players strike. He watched the game in a stadium suite with 49ers president Carmen Policy. San Francisco is among the teams interested in Sanders.
Denver (1-2), meanwhile, bolstered its running game by picking up free-agent running back Leonard Russell. In a pregame announcement, the Broncos said Russell, a 1,000-yard rusher with the New England Patriots last year, had agreed to terms and would sign the deal today.
Young led two first-quarter scoring drives, the first ending in a 25-yard touchdown pass to John Taylor. He made the catch at the Denver 14, broke free of defensive backs Ronnie Bradford and Ray Crockett and ran in for the score.
Rookie placekicker Doug Brien, who missed his first field goal try last week, made good on a 41-yarder to make it 10-0.
Elvis Grbac led a third-quarter drive ending in Brien's second field goal, a 43-yarder, and Bill Musgrave directed a fourth-quarter march capped by Derek Loville's 4-yard TD run with 10:47 left.
Chiefs 17, Redskins 14
At Washington, solid efforts by Joe Montana and Steve Bono overshadowed the home debuts of new Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner and quarterback Heath Shuler as the Kansas City Chiefs rallied to victory.
Montana, making his first appearance at RFK since 1986 and his first start of the season, played the first half, leading the Chiefs on two scoring drives while completing 11 of 20 passes for 118 yards.
Bono played an equally error-free second half, and helped put the Chiefs ahead with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Donnell Bennett that he shoveled away as he was about to be sacked.
Veteran free agent quarterback John Friesz started the game for the Redskins and played the first half, and showed he was comfortable with the new Redskins offense, completing 8 of 16 passes, with one touchdown.
The offense sputtered under Shuler, the Redskins' rookie quarterback who played the second half after practicing just five days in training camp since ending a contract holdout. Shuler was 9 of 21 for 61 yards.
Washington led 14-3 midway through the second period, after Friesz hit a wide-open Desmond Howard for a 37-yard touchdown pass.
The Chiefs came back on a one-yard touchdown run by backup running back Kimble Anders - set up when Washington cornerback Darrell Green was whistled for pass interference, giving the Chiefs the ball at the one. Montana then hit Anders for a two-point conversion, making it 14-11 at the half.
Late in the third period, the Chiefs went ahead for good when Bono hit Bennett with a short shovel pass at the 42-yard line as the pocket collapsed around him. Bennett danced and darted down the left sideline, breaking four tackles on his way into the end zone.
Falcons 27, Bills 7
At Atlanta, Jeff George passed for two touchdowns and Bobby Hebert, in his first appearance since underdoing elbow surgery in February, engineered two field goal drives as the Atlanta Falcons beat the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills, who had opened exhibition play on Monday night with a 13-11 victory over Washington, played without a trio of key offensive performers who helped Buffalo reach the last four Super Bowls - quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas and wide receiver Andre Reed.
They were given the night off because of the short period between games. Defensive star Bruce Smith played only one series.
George, who completed 12 of 18 passes for 170 yards, hit Erric Pegram on a screen pass that went 41 yards for a touchdown on the Falcons' second possession of the game, capping a 74-yard drive that also included a 19-yard pass to Andre Rison.
George broke a 7-7 tie with his second scoring pass, a 3-yarder to Rison with 3:15 remaining in the first half, ending an 80-yard, 9-play drive in which George completed seven of eight passes for 86 yards.
It was Atlanta's second victory in three preseason games. The Bills returned to the Georgia Dome for the first time since losing their fourth consecutive Super Bowl on Jan. 30, a 30-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.