The San Francisco 49ers visit the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 of the NFL preseason. Niner Noise has your live in-game thread and analysis for this intriguing matchup.
Welcome back, San Francisco 49ers fans.
The Niners kicked off their 2017 preseason campaign with a road bout versus the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kickoff was at 9 p.m. ET.
San Francisco 49ers
Tonight officially marked the start of the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era in Santa Clara, although the two have been hard at work trying to resurrect the team from an abysmal 2-14 season a year ago.
While there is a long way to go, tonight’s contest should give a glimpse into how well the rebuild project is going.
Lynch already noted the team’s starters could see a little more of the field tonight. Yet with some injuries, namely to players like safety Jimmie Ward and tight end George Kittle, others could take advantage of the extra reps.
And that’s what preseason is all about — giving players a chance to acclimate to actual games and the bubble-watch guys a chance to showcase their talent.
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The Niners opened up on defense and were tested right away by Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill, who burst past cornerback Rashard Robinson for a big gain.
This led the way to a 49ers red-zone stand. And despite a near interception by linebacker Reuben Foster, the Chiefs managed a two-yard touchdown run from running back Spencer Ware to go up 7-0 after the extra point.
San Francisco’s first drive didn’t go well, as the Niners went 3-and-out and were forced to punt.
Kansas City continued to pick on Robinson, who nearly gave up a touchdown — one called back on an offensive pass interference against the Chiefs. Still, the Chiefs kept targeting him.
Yet this worked in Robinson’s favor, as he managed to pick off Kansas City backup quarterback, Tyler Bray.
The 49ers went 3-and-out again but managed to convert on a 38-yard field goal to cut the score to 7-3.
Linebacker Aaron Lynch managed to knock down a pass on third down, forcing a Kansas City punt to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, and the Niners went back on offense looking for a first down for the first time of the game.
Quarterback Matt Barkley, replacing Brian Hoyer, found wide receiver Marquise Goodwin hit this mark. And fellow wideout Aldrick Robinson followed with a 63-yard catch-and-run reception to get into the red zone for the first time.
Running back Matt Breida saw some important snaps on this drive, as he looks to make the 53-man roster this season.
Robinson hauled in a nice would-be catch for a touchdown, negated by offsetting penalties.
Breida managed a nice run to the 1-yard line, though, and managed to benefit from a fourth-down penalty on Kansas City. And Breida fumbled, resulting in a loss, which doesn’t improve his chances after such a strong start.
The Niners tacked on another field goal to cut the lead 7-6, which gave way to a number of backups coming in for both teams. If they hadn’t already, that is.
Foster stayed on defense, though, since he needed reps. The same went with EDGE Aaron Lynch, who recorded the sack to force a Chiefs punt:
The Niners, still trying to find rhythm, were back on offense. And we got to see rookie tailback Joe Williams, who used his speed to rip off two runs for 34 combined yards.
This got San Francisco back in the red zone, although touchdown paydirt remained elusive.
The Niners had to settle for another field goal, this time from Nick Rose, which gave the 49ers the lead.
Lynch picked up his second sack of the game, this time against rookie Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. The key for Lynch will be whether or not he’ll replicate this against first-team players over the course of the entire season.
On 3rd-and-long, rookie wideout Trent Taylor picked up a first down on a long reception. He’s going to be a player to watch this season, and the Niners found themselves moving back down the field at the two-minute mark.
The 49ers ended up in field-goal range again with five seconds left in the half, but Robbie Gould missed from 51 yards, bringing the half to a close.
San Francisco opened up on offense with rookie QB C.J. Beathard, who saw a 3-and-out ending in a sack from former Niners pass-rusher, Marcus Rush.
Kansas City took the lead on an early third-quarter field goal, 10-9, but rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas made some nice plays to force the attempt late in the drive.
Breida and Williams carried the show, literally, for San Francisco’s subsequent drive. Williams’ speed and Breida’s strength were on display, and it’s going to be tough to keep the latter off the roster.
The Chiefs blocked the subsequent punt attempt and recovered in on San Francisco’s eight-yard line on a botched play, which culminated in a touchdown pass by Kansas City to take the lead 17-9.
San Francisco’s following drive didn’t generate much, resulting in a punt. At least special teams worked out well.
The 49ers were back on on offense to start the fourth quarter, and it’s pretty apparent the Niners offensive line will need some work. It had been outworked almost all game.
Still, Beathard managed to elude the pass rush on third down and connected with wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for a 46-yard touchdown. Bourne kept at it and hauled in the subsequent two-point conversion to tie things up at 17.
Bourne is a player worth watching around cut time.
Meanwhile, rookie Solomon Thomas was still on the field. But it was defensive tackle D.J. Jones forcing a fumble the Niners recovered.
Beathard ended up finding backup fullback Tyler McCloskey for a red-zone touchdown pass to put San Francisco on top, 24-17.
The 49ers’ rookie quarterback has certainly looked raw. But there have been a few signs of promise, and it will remain interesting who wins the No. 2 QB battle after the preseason ends.
Running back Raheem Mostert took over ball-carrying duties for the Niners late in the fourth quarter, and he could fill an unsung-yet-important role of absorbing carries during the preseason.
This led to another San Francisco field goal at the 56-second mark of the quarter.
And that’s how the game finished, as the 49ers go a not-so-important 1-0 this preseason.
Final: 49ers 27, Chiefs 17
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