KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Things couldn't have gone much worse for the 49ers in their 38-27 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday.
But the most devastating moment occurred late in the game when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with what the team believes is a torn ACL in his left knee. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday to confirm the season-ending diagnosis.
Here is a look at this week’s 49ers grades:
Matt Breida and Alfred Morris again proved to be a good 1-2 punch, as both players enjoyed productive days. Breida followed his 138-yard performance against Detroit with a 90-yard day against Kansas City -- and he did his damage on just 10 rushing attempts. Morris gained 67 yards on 14 carries.
The offensive line did a good job of creating holes and cut-back lanes for the backs.
There were a couple of dropped passes, and Garoppolo missed a couple of throws, but the passing game still had a statistically productive day. Garoppolo completed 20 of 30 passes for 251 yards, with TD throws to Kyle Juszczyk and Marquise Goodwin. The 49ers struggled with the silent count, though, as the Chiefs' defensive front seemed to often beat the offensive line off the ball. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey gave up back-to-back sacks in the fourth quarter.
The 49ers also weren't very good on third downs, converting just two of nine opportunities.
There still were way too many missed tackles, but overall, the 49ers’ run defense was very good. Kareem Hunt averaged just 2.4 yards per rushing attempt, as he gained 44 yards on 18 carries. However, the 49ers' run defense allowed Patrick Mahomes to convert a fourth down with a 2-yard run on the first drive of the game, and Hunt scored untouched on 1-yard runs in the first quarter. After that, the 49ers did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage in the run game, allowing inside linebackers Fred Warner and Reuben Foster to combine for 18 tackles.
The 49ers have plenty of excuses with all of their injuries in the defensive backfield, but we grade performances here and don't soften the grade when starters are out of the lineup.
The pass rush wasn't very good, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was able to pick apart the 49ers' defense for 314 yards and three TDs. Tight end Travis Kelce caught eight of the 10 passes thrown his way for 114 yards. Cornerback Richard Sherman left the game near the end of the first half with a calf injury. But even before that, the 49ers’ secondary wasn't playing with confidence.
The 49ers’ strategy was simple: Punt the ball away from Tyreek Hill. Some of Bradley Pinion’s punts sailed out of bounds well shy of the intended mark. Hill returned just one of four punts and managed only 5 yards. Pinion’s net average was 35.8 yards. Conversely, Kansas City punter Dustin Colquitt produced a 43.0 net average. Robbie Gould made two field goals but also missed an extra point.
The 49ers made a second-half push to sort-of, kind-of get back in the game. But there simply was no coming back from a 35-7 deficit after the Chiefs scored touchdowns on each of their five first-half offensive possessions. Not only did Mahomes lead the Chiefs into the end zone every time they touched the ball in the first half, they made it look absurdly easy. The Chiefs took their foot off the gas with the big lead, and the 49ers made the final score respectable.
But the worst part of this game for the 49ers wasn't the 11-point loss. It was the many injuries they endured along the way.
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