The San Francisco 49ers held their first preseason game late Friday night on the road at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers left victorious, beating the Chiefs 27 to 17, but not without a mixed bag of reviews. Niners Live provides an in-depth post-game summary of last night’s events.
Defense, the Highlights
- Aaron Lynch was very active and animated much of the night as he seemed like a man playing against second and third string boys of the Chief’s depth chart by accounting for three tackles, two sacks, two tackles for losses, one pass defense and two QB hits.
- Rashard Robinson had two tackles, a pass defense, and a key interception and return to set up the 49ers first score of three points.
- Austin Calitro was active and productive and led all defensive players in the game with seven tackles, a forced fumble and one tackle for a loss.
- Solomon Thomas played a lot of snaps in this game and if you were watching, you noticed his motor doesn’t stop, side line– to– side line he was relentless and stout at the point of attack while accounting for two tackles, one QB hit, consistent pressure (that help create Robinson’s int) and collapsing the pocket.
- Dekoda Watson if you didn’t know his name you knew his #97 jersey because he flashed quick get off the ball most of the night. Although his one tackle and one QB hit didn’t show it, he applied constant pressure when his number was called.
- Reuben Foster, like Thomas, played a lot of snaps. He saw a lion’s share coming from the Will/Mike position, and he accounted for two tackles. Foster was active and around the ball doing what Foster does, but his pass defense in the end zone was a highlight of the night, one he wishes he would have intercepted, no doubt.
- Quinton Dial Only had one tackle for no gain but he was in hot pursuit down the line of scrimmage to get it and he was hustling and swarming to the ball all night as a man trying to make the 53 man roster.
- D.J. Jones had a fumble recovery and got a lot of playing time while making the most of his opportunities (solid/stout).
- Lorenzo Jerome was tied for second on the team with three tackles, and was head hunting throughout the night trying to be an intimidator (ESPN.com).
Defense, the Lowlights
- Robinson makes both lists, indeed, with mixed reviews. He got burned on like the first play by former 49ers’ QB Alex Smith when he connected with Tyreek Hill for a 32-yard pass/catch. Also, he was being singled out repeatedly and he failed to tackle and wrap up a ball carrier on the outside that led to a first down for the Chiefs.
- The entire starting defensive unit gave up a rushing touchdown on the first drive and showed no resistance to the Chief’s offense, no sacks and realistic pressure against the scrambling ability of Alex Smith who broke free for a 10 yard gain and a first down.
- Chanceller James had one pass defense and no tackles.
- Ray-Ray Armstrong had one tackle and wasn’t the splash playing Ray-Ray the faithful have come to see and know.
- Tank Carradine couldn’t disengage from the tight end to get back into the play to help make a tackle at the goal line.
- Ronald Blair left the game with a (groin) injury.
- DeForest Buckner left the game with an (ankle) injury.
Defensive Summary Breakdown
The 49ers won the turnover battle 2-0, held the Chiefs to 2-10 on third down and only 31 yards rushing for 2.2 yards per rush while the Chiefs only ended up mustering 13 first downs. There were some missed tackles and a lack of pass rush against the starters of KC as aforementioned. The secondary is cause for some concern, even though it was the first game. It’s like KC knew your best corner is like a #2 corner at best, in our book, and we are going to exploit him and the rest of the secondary. Paging the eraser, Jimmie Ward. Hurry back, please.
Offense, the Highlights
- Matt Barkley completed 10 out of 17 passes for 168 yards at 9.9 yards per pass play with no touchdowns and no interceptions while generating a quarterback rating of 92.3
- C.J. Beathard completed 7 out of 11 passes for 101 yards at 9.2 yards per pass play with two touchdowns and no interceptions while generating a quarterback rating of 133.0
- Raheem Mostert rushed for 89 yards on 15 carries for a 5.9-yard average
- Joe Williams rushed for 60 yards on seven carries for an 8.6-yard average
- Matt Brieda rushed for 40 yards on 11 carries for 3.6 yards a carry along with two catches for 14 yards dual threat (one fumble)
- Kendrick Bourne caught four balls for 88 yards on seven targets at a 22.0 yards per catch average, one touchdown, and a two-point conversion (courtesy of Beathard).
- Aldrick Robinson caught two balls for 83 yards on four targets at a 41.5 yards per catch average and zero touchdowns
- Trent Taylor caught three balls for 33 yards on three targets. He also pitched in a 33-yard punt return at the end of the game
- Garrett Celek had one catch for 24 yards on one target (not bad for a guy who’s buried in the depth chart)
- Tyler McCloskey The fullback had two catches for nine yards for a 4.5 yard average on two targets and one touchdown.
Offense, the Lowlights
- Brian Hoyer completed one out of four passes for three yards at 0.8 yards per pass play with no touchdowns and no interceptions while generating a quarterback rating of 39.6
- Carlos Hyde two carried for zero yards and no touchdowns
- Pierre Garcon, Vance McDonald, Blake Bell, DeAndre Smelter, and Jeremy Kerley, who had a catch called back for a penalty that would have gone for a first down. None had a catch in the game and all were targeted at least one time each.
- Aaron Burbridge left the game with a (hamstring) injury.
- Marquise Goodwin had one catch for 14 yards on two targets (Goodwin, based on the hype of being a deep threat, didn’t get loose or behind the defense NFL.com).
Offensive Summary Breakdown
The 49ers had 22 first downs (11) rushing, (9) passing and (2) from first down penalties. The 49ers left much to be desired on third down going 5 for 15. However, on the bright side, the 49ers ran 71 plays for 434 total yards to the Chiefs 46 and 187 yards which controlled the time of possession game 35:17 to 24:43 in the 49ers favor. The team had 17 penalties for 131 yards and you can bet your bottom dollar that was mostly on the offense with a series of false starts, illegal shifts procedures, holds and more. The offensive line gave up three sacks on the night. Although it’s not great, it’s a point in the right direction compared to in years past (ESPN.com).
Mixed Reviews; it’s time to close
It was the 49ers first preseason game and even though it garnered mixed reviews because of the abundance of penalties, missed tackles, no extreme violence displayed on defense and two kicks blocked on special teams with one coming from a missed assignment from bubble watch candidate running back Kapri Bibbs. Along with the vacancy of a serial threat in the pass rush department and lack luster offensive explosions in the first half (three field goals kicked), a win is still a win, and good for morale.
On the flip side of the positive coin the 49ers still flashed in some key areas: ball controlled offense, led the turnover battle, time of possession, some veterans flashed, high draft picks showed promise as well as the lower level picks and undrafted ones. There’s a real battle brewing between Barkley and Bethread as the number two QB behind Hoyer, which Niners Live recently asked the question who wants it more? And Williams vs. Brieda, the battle of the number two running backs, all gives promise of better quality depth along with a deeper, faster, quicker and more explosive play making group of wide receivers which all bodes well for the 49ers moving forward.
On a Niners Live side note: Here’s what head coach Kyle Shanahan had to say about last night’s win (via the team’s website).
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims .