The Kansas City Chiefs punched the San Francisco 49ers at home at Levi’s Stadium in a dominating Week 7 road victory.
What makes the Kansas City Chiefs‘ dominating victory over the San Francisco 49ers all the more impressive is that they were trying to give the home as big of a headstart as possible. In the end, it didn’t matter. Despite a double-digit first-half deficit, the Chiefs reared back and punched the Niners in the mouth at home at Levi’s Stadium in a 44-23 win.
The Niners were excited to see what Christian McCaffrey could do after trading for the Carolina Panthers star running back. They were also glad to see the return of pass rusher Nick Bosa and left tackle Trent Williams from injury. As it turns out, none of that mattered when the quarterback differential was Patrick Mahomes versus Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Chiefs began to shoot themselves in the foot early against the Niners. The team’s defense was able to slow the opening-drive momentum of Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners’ offense enough for a field goal. From there, however, Patrick Mahomes gave the ball right back on an ill-advised pass that was tipped and then intercepted by 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga. The Niners took advantage of the great field position and Garoppolo found Ray-Ray McCloud for a short touchdown pass to make it 10-0.
The Chiefs came back with two touchdown drives, both anchored by Mecole Hardman scores, after holding the Niners to another field goal. Then they had the chance to go up big before halftime, but another muffed punt return by Skyy Moore (who has fumbled two others this year) gave the Niners in great field position once again. Fortunately, rookie cornerback Joshua Williams intercepted Garoppolo to redeem his fellow draftee.
Even just before halftime, a questionable penalty on a Jerick McKinnon block negated a touchdown pass by Mahomes to JuJu Smith-Schuster that would have put them up by 8. The Chiefs then went for a last-second field goal but Harrison Butker put up a rare miss from just under 40 yards. Overall, the Chiefs were fortunate to be up 14-13 heading back to the locker room.
Something clicked at halftime because K.C. came out strong in the second half. A long return by Pacheco to start the second half highlighted a quick drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown run by Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The 49ers answered with another Gould field goal to make it a 21-16 game, but the Chiefs put together another long drive that finished with a short touchdown pass to Justin Watson to go up 28-16.
From there, the game tilted even more in favor of the Chiefs. The defense did a great job all day to keep the Niners’ offense in check and came up with multiple turnovers on the day. Chris Jones forced a fumble that Malik Herring recovered. Frank Clark came up with back-to-back sacks, the second resulting in a safety. By the time the dust settled late in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs were up by 20 points after Hardman ran for his third score for the day and Smith-Schuster caught a 44-yard touchdown.
With the win, the Chiefs moved to 5-2 and will head into their bye in Week 8. They won’t play again until the Tennessee Titans visit Arrowhead Stadium on November 6.