Well, that was terrible. At every single level. Just an abysmal performance. Fans, justifiably, were upset at the poor showing by the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Unfortunately, the 49ers find themselves in a similar state to last year with a 3-4 record. Some have taken solace in knowing this team dug itself out of the same situation. Others aren’t nearly as confident this team can duplicate last year’s turnaround. As usual, Twitter was ablaze with opinions and hot takes.
The game started in favor of the 49ers as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Robbie Gould connected from 30 yards (a common theme) to open the scoring. Talanoa Hufanga continued to find his way to the football picking off Patrick Mahomes on a deflection.
The hair and interception gives off some Troy Polamalu vibes.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 23, 2022
Talanoa Hufanga has been awesome for the 49ers.pic.twitter.com/40r7xKnjyj
The 49ers turned the interception into a scoring drive as Garoppolo hooked up with Ray-Ray McCloud from eight yards out.
The Chiefs answered right back with a touchdown drive of their own, capped off by a push pass to Mecole Hardman. Hardman would have himself a day scoring three times in this game.
Mecole Hardman (8-yd TD) had a 54.8% chance of scoring a TD when he received the pop pass from Patrick Mahomes.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 23, 2022
Since 2018, Mahomes has 8 TDs on pop passes (3 more than any other QB), while Mecole Hardman has 5 such TD receptions (2 more than other WR).#KCvsSF | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/1xZZEdm9o4
Gould finished off another drive into Chiefs territory with a 50-yard field goal. The offense wasn’t having issues moving the ball. The problem was finishing drives with touchdowns.
Charles Omenihu committed an offsides penalty on third down, giving the Chiefs a free play and a first down. Hardman again punctuated the drive with a touchdown. The Chiefs’ offense had the 49ers mixed up and in a blender all game long.
The next drive for the 49ers summed up their sloppy performance on the day. A false start penalty on a field goal attempt by Jaylon Moore forced the team to punt. The following sequence of plays still is hard to explain even after seeing it with my own two eyes.
Mitch Wishnowsky punted from the KC 38-yard line, and Skyy Moore muffed the punt, which was recovered by Samuel Womack. That’s good news, right? An instant red zone opportunity before the first half ends. On third and three, Garoppolo threw an inexcusable interception.
At what point do 49ers fans file suit against Jimmy Garoppolo for intentional infliction of emotional distress?pic.twitter.com/gS8Qaq7IDG— Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) October 23, 2022
Luckily, the Chiefs would miss a 37-yard field goal. The score at the half would end up 14-13. All things considered, a one-point deficit isn’t the worst scenario.
The second half is where this game took a turn for the worse. Immediately, the special teams unit allowed a big return from Isiah Pacheco for 48 yards. Jauan Jennings compounded the problem by committing a silly personal foul penalty giving Kansas City an immediate scoring opportunity. Three plays later, Clyde Edwards-Helaire walked into the end zone.
With the lack of explosive plays from the 49ers’ offense, 21-13 felt like a nearly insurmountable lead. The vaunted 49ers defense had few answers for the Chiefs’ attack. It was clear the offense would have to pick up the slack.
The 49ers would settle for another Gould field goal. You can’t trade field goals for touchdowns with the Chiefs.
After a holding penalty on first down at the 49ers’ 28-yard line, the defense forced two incompletions, setting up 3rd and 20. Jerick Mckinnon caught a screen pass and converted a back-breaking third down.
Instead of forcing a field goal attempt, the 49ers allowed a touchdown on the next play. A screen pass on that down and distance is to gain a few yards, not convert for a first down.
The offense responded with a scoring drive which brought the score to 28-23. A very nice throw from Garoppolo to George Kittle from 15 yards out would be the final time the 49ers scored in the contest.
George Kittle is simply bigger, stronger, & faster. Are we sure he’s not the best TE in the league? pic.twitter.com/o1C56LsrAG— Nico (@elitetakes_) October 23, 2022
Hardman scored his third and final touchdown on the ensuing drive. The 49ers’ final two drives, in which the game was still competitive, ended with Garoppolo’s second safety of the year and a sack and fumble lost.
There’s plenty of blame to go around after this performance. Every facet of the game for the 49ers played a part in this one. You name the game: penalty, execution, adjustments, game plan, and it was a problem in this game.
The 49ers are left with the same questions after every loss, and now the questions are louder than ever.
Hopefully, a trip to SoFi can help the 49ers find their stride before their bye week.