The San Francisco 49ers opening drive looked promising. Kyle Juszczyk caught an 18-yard pass, and Christian McCaffrey had successive touches for 11 yards.
But his third touch in a row proved to be costly, as McCaffrey fumbled for the first time in 3.5 months. So, instead of an opening drive touchdown or field goal, the 49ers offense stalled on the 29.
Defensively, they did not disappoint. Dre Greenlaw looked like a man possessed. The defense had a tackle for loss on first down, then shut down a screen to Travis Kelce on second down. One of the biggest issues on this side of the ball during the playoffs was struggling on early downs. A promising start forced a 3rd & 12, and the Niners got off the field.
Brandon Aiyuk caught an 18-yard pass to start the next drive. But a false start and a holding penalty on Trent Williams stopped the drive before it started, and it was 3rd & 19 before you knew it. Mitch Wishnowsky boomed a punt 54 yards, pinning Kansas City at their 11-yard line.
The defense came to play. They gave up ten yards on the first play but forced a negative gain and no gain on the following two plays. Chase Young had a sack, and Randy Gregory chased down Patrick Mahomes on third down.
Through two drives, the 49ers defensive line was dominating.