Posted Sep 26, 2010

Chiefs move to 3-0

The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 3-0 with a convincing 31-10 victory over the 49ers. Under Head Coach Todd Haley, the Chiefs have now won four straight contests dating back to the 2009 regular season finale. In the club’s most complete effort to date this season, a combination of big plays, stellar defense and aggressive coaching decisions helped propel the club to victory.


The Chiefs offense racked up 457 total yards, 207 of which were gained on the ground. The Chiefs electrified the Sea of Red with big play after big play all day. An interception by CB Brandon Flowers set up the game’s first score as QB Matt Cassel connected with WR Dexter McCluster on a 31-yard TD pass in the second quarter. In the third quarter Head Coach Todd Haley and the offense used trickery as RB Thomas Jones took a direct snap from center, handed off to McCluster who pitched it back to Cassel. Cassel then launched the flea flicker to WR Dwayne Bowe for a 45-yard TD. Cassel hit TE Tony Moeaki for his third TD pass of the day on an 18-yard laser that Moeaki grabbed with one hand in the back of the end zone.

Kansas City’s defense held up their end of the bargain holding San Francisco to 43 rushing yards and limited the 49ers to 4 of 17 on third down. The Chiefs defense notched 5.0 sacks on the day, including 3.0 from LB Tamba Hali, who tied a career high.

The Chiefs won the toss and came out firing as Cassel hit Bowe on the first play from scrimmage for a 16-yard gain. The Chiefs were forced to punt four plays later after Cassel’s third-down pass intended for WR Chris Chambers fell incomplete. San Francisco took over at its own 13-yard line.

The Chiefs defense was true to form. The 49ers picked up an early first down but their drive stalled after QB Alex Smith connected with WR Dominique Zeigler for seven yards on a third-and-eight. Following a 49ers punt, the Chiefs took over at their own 17-yard line.

Cassel and company found rhythm. On first down Cassel connected with Moeaki on a rollout pass for 15 yards. RB Thomas Jones rattled off a four-yard run up the middle followed by a seven-yard carry from RB Jamaal Charles. After another seven-yard run by Jones, the Chiefs faced third-and-three from their own 43. Under pressure, Cassel’s pass missed his intended receiver forcing the Chiefs second punt of the ball game.

The 49ers took over at their own 10-yard line. On third-and-three Smith hit RB Frank Gore in the flat for a 31-yard gain. San Francisco moved the ball to its own 48-yard line but a third down holding penalty forced a replay of third down. Smith’s pass intended for RB Brian Westbrook was incomplete giving Kansas City the ball back.

The Chiefs running game caught fire after Charles tallied runs of 11 and 24 yards. On fourth-and-five from the KC 46, Head Coach Todd Haley fooled the 49ers with a bit of gamesmanship as the punt team sprinted off the field and the offense sprinted on. The 49ers took a time out to regroup, but the Chiefs again sprinted their punt team off the field and put their offense back on. Out of the Wildcat formation Jones handed the ball off to WR Dexter McCluster who picked up four yards and a first down. On first-and-10 out of the Wildcat again, Jones took a direct snap three yards up the middle. The Chiefs drove to San Francisco’s 37-yard line before CB Shawntae Spencer intercepted a Chiefs pass. San Francisco’s offense took over at its own 34-yard line.

The Chiefs defense got it right back as Flowers picked off his second pass of the season. On third-and-four Flowers broke up Smith’s pass intended for WR Michael Crabtree and caught it lying on his back.

Flowers’ interception set the Chiefs up in San Francisco territory at the 31-yard line. The first play following the INT Cassel hit McCluster on a short pass to his left side who rumbled 31 yards down the sideline and dove into the end zone for the TD giving the Chiefs a 7-0 lead with 11:02 to play in the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff the Chiefs recovered an unexpected onside kick, but an offsides penalty negated the turnover. The Chiefs kicked it away and the 49ers took over at their own 22. The 49ers moved into Chiefs territory following a 22-yard completion from Smith to Crabtree. Four plays later K Joe Nedney put through a 51-yard field goal making it 7-3 with 7:35 left in the second quarter.

The Chiefs offense again marched down the field on their next possession that started at their own 20-yard line. McCluster was again a key role in moving the ball as he caught a 15-yard pass from Cassel followed by a 23-yard catch and run putting KC at San Francisco’s 23-yard line setting up Succop for a 38-yard attempt. Succop’s kick sailed just right of the top of the post leaving the score at 7-3 at the two-minute warning.

The 49ers went to work in the two-minute offense but were forced to punt after a three-and-out. CB Javier Arenas returned San Francisco’s punt 19 yards. On second down from the KC 45 Cassel hit Charles on a 17-yard pass followed by an 18-yard pass to Charles. With 0:07 on the clock Cassel hit Moeaki setting up Succop for a 32-yard field goal attempt. Succop’s kick split the uprights giving the Chiefs a 10-3 lead at intermission.

The 49ers offense was first on the field after the break. The teams went punt for punt before Kansas City broke out the trickery. In the Wildcat formation Jones took the snap, handed off to McCluster who pitched it to Cassel coming around the other side. Cassel slung the ball 45-yards down the field into the end zone to Bowe increasing the Chiefs lead to 17-3 with 9:37 to play in the third quarter.

On the ensuing possession, Hali sacked Smith on third-and-nine at San Francisco’s 31-yard line forcing yet another 49ers punt.

The Chiefs offense took the field at its own 39-yard line and behind the legs of Jones moved the ball into 49ers territory. On third-and-four from San Francisco’s 45 Cassel hit Charles for a 22-yard gain to the 23. Four plays later Cassel fired a laser to Moeaki who made an impressive one-handed grab in the end zone to push the Chiefs lead to 24-3 with 1:41 left in the third quarter.

The 49ers had the ball to begin the fourth quarter and were able to move the ball into Chiefs territory. San Francisco was able to keep the drive alive with a 13-yard gain on fourth-and-two. The Chiefs defense locked down on the next set of downs. On fourth-and-eight at the Kansas City 27-yard line Smith’s pass intended for Zeigler fell incomplete giving the ball back to KC with 12:39 left in regulation.

The Chiefs were forced to give the ball back to San Francisco but the Chiefs defense continued to play at a high level. On first-and five at San Francisco’s 17-yard line DT Ron Edwards went untouched up the middle, sacking Smith for a nine-yard loss. Three plays later the 49ers were forced to punt for the seventh time in the game.

Head Coach Todd Haley turned the ball over to his running backs as Jones and Charles combined for 57 yards on a drive that culminated with three-yard TD run from Jones. The Chiefs took a 31-3 lead with 3:27 left to play in the contest.

The Chiefs defense didn’t let up as Hali recorded his third sack of the game, forcing a fumble in the process.

The teams exchanged punts and San Francisco was able to add seven points when Smith connected with WR Josh Morgan as time expired making the final score 31-10.

^ TOP ^