What we learned as 49ers shredded by Mahomes in CMC’s debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SANTA CLARA — The presence of newly acquired running back Christian McCaffrey brought a little more excitement to Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.
But it was the Kansas City Chiefs who looked Super Bowl-ready in a 44-23 victory over the 49ers in Week 7 of the NFL season.
The game looked like a continuation of Super Bowl LIV, when Kansas City outscored the 49ers 21-0 in the fourth quarter en route to a 31-20 victory for the Lombardi Trophy.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Super Bowl MVP in February 2020, and multi-purpose wide receiver Mecole Hardman, made the vaunted 49ers defense looked rather pedestrian.
Mahomes threw for 423 yards and Hardman scored three touchdowns.
The 49ers entered the game allowing an average of 255.8 yards and 14.8 points per game.
Kansas City thoroughly chewed up the 49ers to the tune of 529 total yards while converting on 6 of 9 (66.7 percent) third-down opportunities.
Here were the takeaways from the 49ers’ blowout loss:
Mahomes destroys 49ers secondary
Mahomes made an early mistake when his first-quarter back intended for JuJu Smith-Schuster was tipped by Tashaun Gipson and intercepted by Talanoa Hufanga.
But for the most part, Mahomes was Mahomes.
After his first-drive turnover, Mahomes led Kansas City to four touchdowns on the next five drives. The only possession during that time in which the Chiefs did not score came at the end of the first half, when kicker Harrison Butker missed a 39-yard field goal.
Mahomes completed 25 of 34 pass attempts for 423 yards with three touchdowns, one interceptions and a passer rating of 132.4.
Charvarius Ward, who sat out the second half of the 49ers’ Week 6 game with a groin injury, was cleared to play. He and Deommodore Lenoir started at the cornerback positions.
Safety Jimmie Ward lined up at nickel back, as the 49ers played most of the game with at least five defensive backs against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
His biggest play came on a third-and-11 after the 49ers had cut Kansas City’s lead to 28-23 early in the fourth quarter. Marquez Valdes-Scantling got behind Charvarius Ward for a 57-yard gain to set up another touchdown.
McCaffrey gets involved early, and that’s it
It did not take long for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan to unveil his new offensive weapon.
On the third play, McCaffrey entered the game. And on his fourth play, he took a handoff on a play that gained 10 yards. On the next play, he picked up 9 yards.
The 49ers acquired McCaffrey in a trade Thursday night. He arrived in the Bay Area on a private jet around 11 a.m. PT on Friday. After a brief practice Saturday — and a lot of homework — McCaffrey was deemed ready to make his debut with his new team.
McCaffrey played 17 snaps in the first half. He carried six times for 39 yards and caught one pass for 13 yards in the first 30 minutes of action.
His participation dropped off considerably in the second half — perhaps a result of McCaffrey’s limited knowledge of the playbook. He had two rushing attempts for minus-1 yard.
Garoppolo, 49ers’ offense can’t keep up
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made a big mistake toward the end of the first half that prevented the 49ers from taking the lead.
After Sam Womack recovered a muffed punt at the Kansas City 12, the 49ers had a third-and-3 situation from the 5.
The Chiefs dialed up a blitz, and Garoppolo threw a pass up for grabs for Ray-Ray McCloud under pressure. Kansas City cornerback Joshua Williams made the interception to thwart the 49ers’ scoring chance.
Garoppolo completed 25 of 37 passes for 303 yards while throwing two touchdown passes, one interception and had a passer rating of 99.3.
He helped get the 49ers back in the game with a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end George Kittle early in the fourth quarter.
But after Mahomes quickly got Kansas City down the field for a touchdown, Garoppolo was sacked in the end zone for a safety.
Left tackle Trent Williams, returning to action after missing three games with a high-ankle sprain, was beaten soundly by Frank Clark for the sack.
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Source: NBC Bay Area