49ers Second and Third Stringers Earn the Pre-Season Opener Victory 27-17

August 11, 2017

NFL, San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver DeAndre Smelter (18) reaches for a pass. the fell incomplete, against Kansas City Chiefs’ Kenneth Acker (27) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By: Joe Lami

The Kyle Shannahan era is off to a good start for the San Francisco 49ers, as they bested the Kansas City Chiefs in the pre-season opener 27-17 on Friday evening. The victory needs to be taken with a grain of salt of course since much of the 49ers scoring came late in the game, when 3rd, 4th, and 5th stringers were in there for both sides.

Alex Smith tore up San Francisco on his only possession, passing 4-of-6 for 48 yards with most of it coming on a 32-yard pass to Tyreek Hill on a deep route down the sideline. Spencer Ware finished off the scoring drive, punching it in from two yards out.

The rest of the first half seemed to drag on for both sides. New 49ers’ place kicker, Robbie Gould, saw a lot of action, going 3-for-3 to give San Francisco a 9-7 lead going into the half.

49ers’ starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, saw only two possessions, connecting on one pass for three yards, while a first down was wiped out by a penalty.

The battle for second string is on between Matt Barkley and rookie, C.J. Beathard. Both impressed, as Barkley finished the night 10-of-17 for 168 yards, but Beathard bested him throwing 7-of-11 for 101 yards and two touchdowns that came in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers were outscored 10-0 in the third quarter, giving the Chiefs as 17-9 lead going into the final frame; giving the impression that the Chiefs were running away with it. However, the Niners dominated the fourth charging down the field on multiple occasions led by Beathard and running back, Raheem Mostert, who finished the night rushing for 89 yards on 15 attempts.

The 49ers defense also looked strong once Smith left the field, as they forced two turnovers, including a Rashard Robinson interception. They were also extremely effective at getting off the field, holding Kansas City to a 20% third-down efficiency.

A few of the bright spots on the defensive side of the ball for San Francisco included Soloman Thomas, who played well into the fourth quarter. Aaron Lynch looked like a monster getting to the quarterback, earning two sacks on three tackles. Rookie, Rueben Foster also had a couple of tackles and a pass deflection.

While earning the victory, there were a few choppy parts of the 49ers game as well. The biggest red flag was the yellow flag, as the Niners committed 17 penalties costing them 131 total yards. Penalties continue to be an issue for the red and gold and need to be addressed in the next three pre-season games.

Another concern was the bland performance from running back Carlos Hyde. It has been reported that Hyde could be on the chopping block due to the additions at the position. Hyde earned the start but was held without a yard on two rushes. He needs to step it up to be the starter come regular season.

Overall, the 49ers second and third stringers outperformed Kansas City’s, but the struggles at the beginning of the contest indicate that there is still a lot of room for growth for San Francisco.

 

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