The San Francisco 49ers lost on Sunday to the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-27, but that’s currently the least of their problems. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo left the game with a left knee injury and the 49ers are fearing a torn ACL, which would sideline the franchise star till 2019.
Aside from Garoppolo, the 49ers also lost starting defenders Richard Sherman (leg) and Adrian Colbert (hip) to ailments. After getting down 35-10 to the Chiefs at halftime, the 49ers climbed back into the game, making it 38-24, with a chance to cut it to a one-possession game, before Garoppolo got injured and exited the game.
It was a tale of two halves for San Francisco, missing tackles, committing numerous penalties, dropping passes in the first half and executing at a high level in the second half. Here are some of the top plays (and some rough ones), from Sunday’s contest in Kansas City.
It might have been two weeks since linebacker Reuben Foster played for the 49ers in a real game, but he didn’t wait long to make an impact. On the Chiefs’ first drive of the game, Foster is able to stick with KC wideout Chris Conley, breaking up the pass in coverage.
The 49ers’ offense wasn’t able to get anything going early in the game, except for this Matt Breida run. The NFL’s leading rusher added 90 yards to his rushing total on Sunday. A large chunk of those came on this cut-back play, where Breida improvises for a huge gain.
After falling behind 14-0 early, San Francisco’s offense was finally able to put together a string of plays to help them find their first touchdown of the afternoon. Head coach Kyle Shanahan draws up a beauty on the play-action fake to running back Alfred Morris, allowing Garoppolo to find fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a wide-open touchdown. 14-7, Chiefs.
The defense didn’t have very many highlights in the first half, allowing touchdowns on each one of the Chiefs’ five drives. Foster comes up with one of the few bright spots, running across the formation to bring down the Chiefs’ running back for no gain. Even though he missed the first few games, it was refreshing to see Foster back on the field for San Francisco.
Come for the Marquise Goodwin touchdown and stay for the Kendrick Bourne dance, as the 49ers start to claw back into the game. Garoppolo is able to find another wide open 49ers’ receiver for another easy score.
Shanahan continued to show off his creativity late in the second half, as he runs an option play with Juszczyk, allowing him to either run or pitch the ball. The 49ers’ fullback tosses it off to Breida, who’s able to gain a significant amount on the play. An Andy Reid-like gimmick against Reid’s defense — creative.
Now for some of the not-so-pretty highlights from Sunday’s game. Tackle Joe Staley has always been reliable, but the Chiefs’ pass rush was able to get the best of him on Sunday. In this one instance, Staley gets blown by easily, giving up the sack on Garoppolo.
The 49ers were penalized 14 times for 147 yards on Sunday — A HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN YARDS — in case you missed that. A huge portion of that came on this poor call against corner K’Waun Williams. While it looked like his feet got tangled up with the Chiefs’ receiver, the referees didn’t see it like that, calling for a 31-yard pass interference penalty on Williams.
This was nightmares of Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers combined into one play. Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes is able to escape the 49ers’ pass rush, run around and find Conley for an easy touchdown.
San Francisco heads to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers next, but will likely be without a lot of big names on their roster. Before the injury news sink in, enjoy some of the highlights from Sunday’s loss.