Probably the most impressive unit as a whole, the special teams was exceptional on Friday. It was the only way the team could score for the first three quarters, with three field goals being the lone source of points for the team.
In total, the team was 4-5 for field goals, averaged nearly 55 yards a punt (52.0 to be exact), kick returner Vic Bolden Jr. had two returns with an average of 31.5 yards and punt returner Trent Taylor had three returns for 40 yards (a long of 33 yards).
Most importantly, head coach Kyle Shanahan walks away with a win in his debut. His offensive scheme produced, with the 49ers out gaining the Chiefs 434 yards to 187 yards. Ultimately, that is where Shanahan is going to make his money, on the offensive side of the ball, so it’s encouraging to see the offense perform. Additionally, they won the possession battle 35:17 to 24:43.
But the team also had a ridiculous 17 penalties for 131 yards, signaling a lack of discipline. The first-team defense also got worked by the Chiefs’ starters, albeit a minuscule sample. As well as this, the 49ers first-team offense wasn’t the sharpest either.
Overall though, it was a mostly positive performance for the team as it looks to find its identity and sort out its depth chart.
*Note: all game statistics gathered from ESPN.
Week one is in the books, and with the first glimpse at the new-look 49ers, the understanding of the team is getting clearer. Stick with us at Niner Noise as we’ll have updates and analysis as the preseason moves along.