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If there was anyone still doubting Kansas City’s offense, the Chiefs quickly answered them in their 38-27 win over San Francisco last weekend. Andy Reid‘s band of merry playmakers had the 49ers down 14-0 before Kyle Shanahan‘s charges knew what was happening. Kansas City (3-0) was up 35-10 by halftime.

When the offense is rolling like that, a team’s social media group can be forgiven for having a little fun.

Sure, the Chiefs defense made things interesting again by allowing 17 second-half points, but apparently, they just need to hold teams under 30 for Kansas City to be successful. San Francisco, for its part, came out of the game wondering what just happened to the season.

As we do every week, Sports Al Dente had three keys for the Chiefs coming into the game. How did those play out? Take a look.

Patrick Mahomes vs. History

Quarterbacks in their first year starting typically struggle, at least a little. Even the ones who win right away — Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady — still throw double-digit interceptions.

Mahomes is blowing past any expectations that existed before the season and has morphed into a combo of Rodgers and Dan Marino in their first full years starting. His 13 touchdowns through three games put him ahead of Peyton Manning‘s pace during his 55-touchdown season. In case you’re keeping track, that was five current or future Hall of Famers just named in comparison with the Texas Tech product.

Is he being helped out by his receivers, like Sammy Watkins nice catch-and-run against the Niners?

Sure, but the fact remains that Mahomes is spreading the ball around and giving his teammates the opportunity to shine. The biggest concern coming out of training camp was that the young signal caller might throw a ton of interceptions, especially early. So far, he’s thrown none.

Plus, he can do stuff like this:

There still might be a point where defensive coordinators come up with a scheme that confuses the Chiefs quarterback, but at the moment Mahomes is doing a number on history.

Reuben Foster vs. Travis Kelce And Kareem Hunt

By the time San Francisco’s defense figured things out, it was too late. Managing to hold Kansas City to just a field goal in the second half, though, provided a ray of light to AFC West coaches.

In his first game after serving a two-game suspension, 49ers’ linebacker Reuben Foster was fairly solid with seven tackles and a pass breakup. His fellow linebacker, Fred Warner, who had been leading the defense while Foster was out turned in another good effort with 11 tackles and a pair of tackles for losses.

There are some things that are just hard to defend against no matter what.


Kelce showed yet again why he’s one of the best in the business. The All-Pro tight end led the Chiefs with eight catches for 114 yards. With Watkins and Tyreek Hill drawing attention on the outside, Kelce has made defenses pay the last two weeks.

Hunt had his first two rushing touchdowns of the season against the 49ers, which is good. Gaining only 44 yards on 18 carries is not good. After leading the league in rushing last season, Hunt is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry. Just as concerning, the second-year back has only caught one pass after having 53 catches last year.

Reid has been known to forget that he has a running back from time to time, but in this case, Hunt just isn’t getting much traction. Because of the offense’s output, there hasn’t been any real reason for concern yet. There’s going to come a time soon where Kansas City needs more from the Pro Bowler.

Justin Houston vs. Mike McGlinchey

Speaking of Pro Bowls, Houston hasn’t played in one since after the 2015 season. The outside linebacker is still getting paid like a perennial participant.

Heading into the San Francisco game, Houston hadn’t gotten to the quarterback yet this season. Well, he showed up this week.

Houston was consistently in the 49ers backfield and came away with two sacks for his effort. For his part, McGlinchey, a rookie out of Notre Dame, gained some valuable experience.

As they did against Pittsburgh, however, the Chiefs defense couldn’t maintain a consistent effort. With a 35-7 lead in the second quarter, Kansas City couldn’t close the door. As they had in the first two games, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s group allowed more than 400 yards of offense to the opposition.

The biggest play that happened while the Chiefs’ D was on the field didn’t even involve anyone wearing a Kansas City uniform.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo scrambled down the sideline late in the fourth quarter and had his knee buckle. He ended up being carted off the field and the news wasn’t good.

Even if Justin Houston isn’t sympathetic, the loss of Garoppolo is far worse for San Francisco than suffering a smackdown at the hands of Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Kansas City will now get to see what they can do in high altitude when they travel to Denver for a Monday night matchup with the Broncos.

Brendon McCullin

Author Brendon McCullin

Once a mover & shaker in Los Angeles, I made the bold move to move to the Midwest, where I now write about sports and entertainment industry topics. A long suffering Philadelphia sports fan, I've learned to trust the process but never trust Pete Rose.

More posts by Brendon McCullin

Sports Al Dente 2019

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