In the team's preseason opener, the San Francisco 49ers rallied for a 27-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday. The comeback victory was due in large part to the strong play of rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who played the entire second half.
Beathard got into a rhythm during the fourth quarter after getting off to a slow start. With the 49ers down eight, Beathard found fellow rookie Kendrick Bourne for a 46-yard touchdown.
The two connected again on the ensuing two-point conversion to tie the game at 17. Bourne led the 49ers receivers with four receptions for 88 yards.
View photos from the 49ers first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"He's a really talented receiver. Obviously, you saw that," Beathard said postgame. "Just being able to work with the little bit of time we've had, it's nice having him in there making catches."
Following a Chiefs fumble on the succeeding drive, Beathard found rookie fullback Tyler McCloskey for a 2-yard touchdown to give the 49ers the lead.
The rookie finished his debut completing 7-of-11 passes for 101 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He averaged 9.2 yards per attempt, besting Chiefs first-round quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5.4 yards per attempt).
"It's been my lifelong dream to play in the NFL, and I finally get to do that," Beathard said. "So, there's definitely some nerves. But it was awesome. It was very cool."
Constant pressure from the Chiefs defense attributed Beathard's slow start. The rookie was sacked twice in the third quarter.
"That's a part of football," Beathard said. "As a rookie, you can expect that not everything is going to go perfect or as planned. When you get sacked like that it's tough, but you've got to bounce back and live play another down and another drive."
Beathard has spent the first few weeks of training camp battling veteran Matt Barkley for the backup quarterback position. Even in the midst of competition, the rookie has been proactive in seeking advice from his veteran counterpart. Both Barkley and Pierre Garçon have been valuable assets for Beathard.
"They're both good at helping me with certain things, with what I can do better at, and what I can expect," Beathad said. "It really helps talking to them."
Beathard still has a long way to go, but he showed poise and control of the 49es offense. He'll get another chance next Saturday when the 49ers host the Denver Broncos at Levi's® Stadium Aug. 19th.
Beathard certainly has plenty to build from.
"I thought the team battled well and fought hard to win that game," Beathard added. "I'm just happy to start preseason 1-0."