Punts ruled the first half. At one point, there were more fumbles (4) than points (3). After trading punts, the 49ers did what they couldn’t do on their first four drives: Reach the end zone. Aided by an unnecessary roughness penalty, Jauan Jennings, yes, Jauan Jennings, threw a pass to Christian McCaffrey across the field, who raced untouched into the end zone for 21 yards.
Jennings deserves a ton of credit. He looks down the field, holds the coverage, allows the blockers to get over to McCaffrey, and that’s how that long-developing play worked to perfection.
Kansas City answered with a drive of their own because that’s what Mahomes does. On 3rd & 9, Fred warner was flagged for a holding. It didn’t matter, as Watson was open 21 yards down the field.
So, instead of a chance to get off the field and get the ball back with three timeouts, the drive stayed alive, and the Chiefs were guaranteed to get points, barring another turnover. But the defensive line continued to be a force. Nick Bosa made a stop on first down. Javon Kinlaw on second down, then Armstead sacked Mahomes on third down. That unit was the best in the game through a half.