The 49ers had their chances all afternoon. On their first drive, they had an opportunity to move the chains, but Brandon Aiyuk dropped a pass on 3rd & 3, and the offense had to settle for a field goal.
On its third drive, Mike McGlinchey let Chris Jones bull-rush him into the quarterback, and Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked. It’s worth noting that Garoppolo had over three seconds to decide where to go, missed his check down, and took a sack.
That was a theme, as Jimmy did not fare well against the blitz all day. Between failing to find the “hot” receiver or missing throws, it wasn’t Jimmy’s best day. Nothing highlights this more than a knuckle-headed red zone interception where Garoppolo threw the ball up in the air for grabs.
The 49ers were fortunate not to give up points on the ensuing drive after the 49ers let the Chiefs march down the field, only to miss a field goal.
That was the story of the game for the defense. This was the worst showing we’ve seen from them in two years. The Chiefs scored 30 points in the second half. Patrick Mahomes, at 423 yards, threw three touchdowns and had three backbreaking third-down conversions. Kansas City converted six of its eight third downs.
Mahomes was surgical all afternoon, but especially through the air. He completed all seven of his attempts through the air for 184 yards. It felt as though each of those came at the worst possible time if you’re the 49ers.
Kansas City had a whopping 9.7 yards per play, had a 59% success rate, and gained a first down on 43% of their plays before the final garbage time drive. For reference, the 49ers led the league with the fewest yards per play allowed at 4.2 and a success rate of 38.9%. Today was a butt-kicking.
It’s one thing to let the other team’s best player to have a big day. Travis Kelce did a lot of his damage early on, as he finished with 98 yards on six receptions. But JuJu Smith-Schuster had 124 yards, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling had 111 receiving yards. That’s unacceptable from DeMeco Ryans’ unit.
There were multiple missed tackles, foolish penalties, and letdowns third down. It was a never-ending cycle. Outside of one possession, the pass rush was invisible all game. This is the first time where it felt like Ryans was outcoached.
If this was a litmus test to see how the 49ers stack up against an elite team, they’re not close to being one of the best teams in the NFL. They make far too many mistakes at the most inopportune times.
There have now been seven games, and we’ve yet to see this team play a complete, complimentary game where all three phases play well. That explains the 3-4 record.