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Gamer: 49ers Beat Chiefs, 22-17, at Levi's® Stadium

Posted Oct 5, 2014

This was supposed to be a battle between Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith. Instead, Phil Dawson stole the show.


The lead:
 This one was billed as number 7 versus number 11.

But number 9 scored more times than both.

Phil Dawson executed five field goal attempts, including from 52 and 55 yards, in the San Francisco 49ers 22-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon at Levi's® Stadium.

Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers (3-2) scored on four of their first five drives but cracked the end zone just once, while Dawson was happy to clean up.

Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-3), meanwhile, were limited to only a Smith touchdown pass after halftime. In his first regular season game against the team that drafted him first overall in 2005, Smith was 17-of-31 passing for 175 yards and two scores, but he and his AFC West squad punted away three of their last four possessions; the fourth ended on an interception.

One more number, 17. That's the maximum amount of points the Vic Fangio-coordinated, Patrick Willis-led defense aims to allow each week. They feel like they can win games at that number. They did on Sunday.

The quote: "It's my job to love them, the players and the coaches," Jim Harbaugh said postgame of media speculation surrounding his position. "It's their job to love each other... My destiny lies between these walls with these men." 

The numbers: View full stats here, although we should mention that the 49ers were more disciplined in only committing two penalties overall.

The injury report: Tight end Vance McDonald started with Vernon Davis (back) sidelined to begin this game.

Also inactive for the 49ers: wideout Quinton Patton, cornerback Tramaine Brock, defensive tackle Tank Carradine, right tackle Anthony Davis, quarterback Josh Johnson and center Marcus Martin.

Inside linebacker Nick Moody, who plays exclusively on special teams, suffered a third-quarter hamstring injury that left him "questionable" to return.

Left tackle Joe Staley left the game late in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. He was replaced by right guard Alex Boone, with Joe Looney taking Boone's spot. Staley returned soon afterward.

The observations: Kaepernick, Staley and linebackers Patrick Willis and Michael Wilhoite represented the 49ers as team captains. Three former 49ers, Smith, wideout A.J. Jenkins and cornerback Marcus Cooper, served in the same role for the Chiefs.

2. During the 49ers first offensive series, running back Frank Gore came to the sideline to get his ankles taped. On rookie Carlos Hyde's first carry in Gore's stead, he ran right over cornerback Sean Smith for a nine-yard gain. Then Gore came back and popped a 12-yard run -- veteran and rookie working well together.

3. Later on the same drive, which ended in a 31-yard Phil Dawson field goal, wideout Anquan Boldin came across the line of scrimmage on a trick play. The ex-high school quarterback had an open Michael Crabtree in the corner of the end zone but threw on the run and misfired. Setting his feet may have brought about a different result.

4. Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks drove Smith into the turf on the Chiefs second series but helped his former teammate up after the play, a 12-yard, third-down conversion by Smith, who was 5-of-5 passing in such situations in the first quarter.

5. Jenkins gave a look toward the 49ers sideline after his second-quarter reception.

6. In the second quarter, Kaepernick targeted Cooper on consecutive plays. "Kap" was looking for Lloyd on both and found the veteran for a 39-yard gain over Cooper's head on the second attempt.

7. Credit another big gain, a 27-yard connection between Kaepernick and Boldin, to both men. Boldin started his route by walking as if to deke the corner, and Kaepernick waited for Boldin's crossing route to get beyond the reach of linebacker Josh Mauga, who was shadowing the middle of the field.

8. Cooper was victimized on Kaepernick's nine-yard touchdown toss to Stevie Johnson just before halftime.

9. It was safety Antoine Bethea, one of the least likely suspects, to miss a tackle on De'Anthony Thomas' 17-yard touchdown catch to begin the third quarter.

10. The 49ers responded with a 52-yard field goal by Dawson, who is now 9 of 11 on field goal attempts this season.

11. Rookie outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, the first defender to get a hit on Smith in the pocket, also showed his smarts early in the third quarter by jumping at the last second to bat down a Smith attempt.

12. Safety Craig Dahl gained three yards when he received a direct snap on the 49ers fake-punt play in the fourth quarter, which led to a 27-yard field goal by Dawson.

13. Lloyd's 29-yard grab on the same series came when the 33-year-old receiver out-jumped 27-year-old cornerback Sean Smith, who stands 6 feet, 3 inches.

14. Dawson was about to attempt a fifth field goal, from 54 yards out, with just over four minutes left in the game, but a 12-men-on-the-field Chiefs penalty gave the 49ers a new set of downs. Later on the same possession, Dawson connected from 30.

15. When cornerback Perrish Cox intercepted Smith just before the two-minute warning, Gore nearly knocked Harbaugh down to the ground with a chest-bump. Cox, for his part, has five turnovers in five games.

16. Scouts for the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders were on hand to watch this one.

The advance: The 49ers players will have Monday off before rejoining their coaches in the office and on the practice field on Tuesday. They next play the 1-3 Rams on "Monday Night Football." It will be an important week for rehabbing starters like Vernon Davis, Anthony Davis and Brock, who would be useful for the team's road trip to Missouri.


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