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Broncos-Panthers final score: Denver comes back on strong defensive performance

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The 49ers Week 2 opponent came up short as Denver secured a come-from-behind victory.

The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers to open the 2016 season, coming from behind to win a wild one by a final score of 21-20. The Panthers jumped out to a 17-7 lead, but the Broncos defense proceeded to shut them down, while Trevor Siemian and C.J. Anderson did just enough to get the needed points. It was an ugly game for stretches, with Cam Newton in particular taking some absolutely brutal shots. He took a nasty hit late in the fourth quarter that was a roughing call, but offset by intentional grounding. He did not go through the concussion protocol, which seemed odd. The Panthers had a shot to win it on a 50-yard attempt, but it was pulled wide.

The San Francisco 49ers face the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, and then travel east to face the Panthers in Week 2. Cam Newton flashed some of what makes him a special player, but their offense struggled for stretches. They benefited from two Siemian interceptions, but stumbled much of rest of the time.

I imagine the Panthers will be plenty fired up when they host the 49ers in their home opener, but if the 49ers defense comes out strong this Monday against the Rams, I’ll hold at least a little bit of optimism for their first road game of the season. And maybe the letdown from this loss costs the Panthers. The 49ers could easily get thumped in Charlotte, but I’ll maintain some optimism!