It was a rematch of Super Bowl LIV as the Kansas City Chiefs faced the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams were coming off losses and looked for a rebound this week. It was the Chiefs who came out on top with the 44-23 victory, and here are three takeaways from their bounce back game.
Good Day For The Defensive Line
All around it was a good day from multiple of the Chiefs defensive linemen as they made a massive impact in the outcome of the game. With less than two minutes left in the second quarter, the 49ers offense was in the red zone after recovering a muffed punt from Skyy Moore. With the chance to score, the Chiefs had other intentions as George Karlaftis got pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo which led to him throwing an interception. In the fourth quarter, Frank Clark got to Garoppolo in the end zone to get a safety right after he and Khalen Saunders combined for a sack. With four minutes left, Chris Jones got to Garoppolo for a strip sack in which the Chiefs recovered. In total, they ended up with five sacks, two of the team’s eight defended passes, and eight quarterback hits.
Pass Defense Struggles
With the defensive line bringing immense pressure, it did lead to the secondary still struggling. When Garoppolo had time to throw, he ended up completing 25-of-37 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns. George Kittle was the big problem as the secondary allowed him to have 98 yards, his longest reception went for 34 yards, along with a touchdown. Six players in the receiving game averaged over 10 yards per reception. Hopefully, getting Trent McDuffie back from his injury will help things improve on the backend.
Huge Day For Mecole Hardman
It wasn’t anything that was going to jump off the charts when you look at his receiving stats, but he did catch all four targets that went his way for 32 yards. It was his versatility in the run game that led to a massive day for him. He had two rushing attempts, both of which went four touchdowns, and a total of 28 yards. On the broadcast, it was announced he is the first wide receiver in the Super Bowl era to have two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in the same game. The Chiefs have plenty of playmakers on offense, and Hardman was the one to step up today.