49ers @ Chiefs preseason live blog

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Denver Broncos, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

This is the live blog for the 49ers’ preseason dress rehearsal against the Kansas City Chiefs. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from The Cohn Zohn War Room.

2:15 Check out my latest interview on 95.7 The Game with Mychael Urban and Rick Tittle. Skip ahead to the 27-minute mark to hear me.

3:45 The following 49ers will not play tonight:

  1. TE George Kittle (calf)
  2. DE Dee Ford (knee)
  3. DE Nick Bosa (ankle)
  4. DT Jullian Taylor (back)
  5. CB K’Waun Williams (knee)
  6. CB Jason Verrett (ankle)
  7. CB Tim Harris Jr. (groin)
  8. FS Adrian Colbert (hamstring)
  9. RB Jerick McKinnon (knee)
  10. WR Jalen Hurd (back)
  11. LB Elijah Lee (thumb)
  12. G Joshua Garnett (finger)

5:05 The 49ers will receive the opening kickoff.

5:18 On fourth and one from the Chiefs 31-yard line, Garoppolo’s pass gets batted down at the line of scrimmage. Turnover on downs.

5:19 Shanahan called zero empty formations during that drive. On second and 10 from the 49ers 30, he called a play-action pass with a quick, straight drop back. Garoppolo hit a wide open Kendrick Bourne over the middle for 18 yards. That was the perfect play call for a quarterback struggling with confidence.

5:23 On third and two from the Chiefs 38, Solomon Thomas gives up a 62-yard touchdown catch to Chiefs running back Damien Williams. Yes, Thomas was covering a running back man to man downfield. No, I can’t tell you why. The Chiefs lead 7-0.

5:31 On first and 10 from the Chiefs 20-yard line, Matt Breida makes a diving catch in the end zone. The 49ers tie the game at seven. During the drive, Garoppolo completed a beautiful 33-yard pass up the sideline to Richie James. Garoppolo seems much more confident than he did against the Broncos.

5:46 On third and 1o from the 49ers 15, Jimmie Ward stops Patrick Mahomes after he scrambles for eight yards. The Chiefs kick a field goal and lead 10-7. During the drive, Richard Sherman gave up two catches for 25 yards, and Ahkello Witherspoon gave up two catches for 19 yards.

5:52 On third and three, Frank Clark beats Joe Staley and sacks Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers go three and out. Staley has played poorly this offseason. Maybe the 49ers shouldn’t have extended his contract this offseason.

5:59 On third and 18, Arik Armstead and Damontre Moore sack Chad Henne, and the Chiefs go three and out.

6:08 On third and three from the Chiefs 11, Garoppolo throws behind Ross Dwelley and the Chiefs break up the pass. Robbie Gould ties the game at 10. During the drive, Garoppolo completed a 21-yard play-action pass to Deebo Samuel. Good to see those two playing together finally.

6:14 The 49ers first-string defense forces its second-straight three and out. But, it’s facing Chiefs third-string quarterback Kyle Shurmur. Mahomes left the game two drives ago.

6:23 Gould kicks a field goal before halftime and the 49ers lead 13-10. During the drive, Garoppolo completed two passes to Ross Dwelley — a 23-yarder and a 7-yarder in the red zone.

6:25 Garoppolo finishes the night completing 14 of 20 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. His quarterback rating was 116.2. He played well, and he threw a pass into tripled coverage that almost got intercepted. That rest of his decisions were good.

6:27 Overall, an extremely positive performance for the 49ers. They were locked in. Their secondary still looks a bit vulnerable, though.

6:42 On third and 14, Damontre Moore sacks Shurmur. Moore is a better pass rusher than Solomon Thomas.

6:45 On third and 5, Najee Toran blocks no one and the Chiefs sack Nick Mullens. Niners go three and out.

6:59 On second and goal from the 6, wide receiver Byron Pringle runs a jet sweep around the left end and scores. Blake Bell blocked Dontae Johnson out of the play. The Chiefs lead 17-13.

7:12 On second and one from the Chiefs four-yard line, Jeff Wilson bounces to his right and scores a touchdown. The 49ers lead 20-17. During the drive, Nick Mullens badly missed his first two throws. He missed a wide open Jordan Matthews deep, and he sailed a pass over Deebo Samuel’s head. But, Mullens recovered, completed his next four passes and led the touchdown drive. He has had a strained left oblique for more than a week — that’s why he barely played against the Broncos. Good thing Garoppolo seems ready for Week 1.

7:20 On third and five, Dontae Johnson breaks up a pass and the Chiefs go three and out.

7:32 Jeff Wilson Jr. carries the ball into the end zone on second and goal from the seven. Wilson Jr. is the 49ers’ best red-zone back. It would be a shame if the 49ers were to cut him and keep C.J. Beathard.

This article has 255 Comments

  1. Kyle don’t want JimmyG…..he wants Cousins…we know that…..Grant would you consider this a CONSPIRACY? setting up JimmyG to fail??….hhhmmmmm whats your take on this Grant?

        1. Typical troll response.
          Trying to stir up a QB controversy.Conspiracy theories.
          The Frisco Kid- actively rooting for the Niners to lose, because he hates Jed so much.

          1. Seb you are a complete and utter disgrace and a moron….Grant on his periscope speaks of Conspiracies duh….do us all a favor and go fly a kite on the Nimitz

  2. Jimmy G will be given every opportunity to prove himself. Everyone wants him to succeed and take us to the playoffs. That said dam Jimmy when are you going to play some ball. I have to say that my confidence level has steadily dropped the last two years and is at an all time low. Watching Mullen play he seems really effortless and he has improved each time I see him. Come on Jimmy show me something. Lead, be smart, be athletic, be accurate and be healthy. I’m guessing if you can’t do those things this year we will have another QB 2020.

  3. I wish to vehemently disagree with Mortensen. JG is plenty smart, and disparaging his intelligence is an insult, especially coming from a talking head. JG is a 2 time SB winner, so he knows more about winning than almost every 49er player, and the coaches included.
    I wish to disagree with Larry Kreuger. He thinks that putting pressure on JG is a good thing, because Walsh kept them on their toes. Wrong. KS should give JG a pat on the back, rather than a kick in the pants. KS should lessen the pressure on JG, so he can play naturally, and in control. JG should not be worried about performing well. He should concentrate on confidently exploiting the defense, and have crisp, quick, deceptive and fast execution.
    JG needs to get back to his 2017 play, and the best way to do that is overcoming the coaching. KS should let JG become the field general, and not over complicate the scheme. If JG plays instinctively, he can succeed.
    GO NINERS !!!!!!

    1. Field general? Kinda getting military on us, Sebbie? Try a different term–more in line with your recent expression of disgust concerning all things violent. How about CEO? Dear Leader? Big Tuna?

    1. Yes I like Mullens…that’s why I wonder about a conspiracy….He proves it on the field and in College….since its a rebuild just go with Mullens …. I wonder if Kyle and his playcalling is throwing JimmyG under the bus?

  4. From NFL.com…

    Kyler Murray, also known as the 2019 No. 1 overall pick, put together a solid albeit unremarkable outing against the Vikes’ first-team defense. Murray played all but the final two-and-a-half minutes of the first half and accumulated 137 yards on 14-of-21 completions and an 84.8 rating. He demonstrated good awareness in the pocket and avoided constant pressure with his speed but was yet again unable to score a TD and had a number of his passes batted down by the Vikes’ defensive line. He did position the team for three field goals.

  5. My hopes
    JG and WRs click and we have an air attack
    Coleman and McKinnon provide a great one two punch and we have a run game
    Defensive front dominates and we actually apply constant pressure on QBs
    Sherman and company provides solid coverage and Moore blossoms into a pro bowl safety

    JG never gels with system and WRs and misses some time allowing Mullens to step in and flourish
    Coleman and Breida provide and OK running game – McKinnon still year away from 100 % after set back
    Defense DOES dominate
    Secondary with have some bad moments but overall will be light years ahead of last year
    We get Cousins

    1. montanaoveryoung – if you saw cousins this afternoon vs. the Cards, you would not be impressed……3 of 13 for 35 yards, 2 sacks and a rating of 39.6

      also look at cousin’s career record in starts vs. teams with a winning record….something like 6 wins and 24 losses

  6. lol – this team was way overhyped in training camp. The past two weeks show that the first teams are just not very good.

      1. allie,
        Obviously you were totally immune to all the layers and ramifications surrounding this game for JG.
        It’s best I leave it at that.

  7. Let’s go! Nice throws grop! Looks like he’s getting his sea legs back. But hey, let’s keep talking about how he’s trash. Smh

      1. Good for you. That’s your choice. Back up qb is the favorite a lot of the time. But, No WE all don’t. Have the same preference.

    1. Great drive! Let me go to the opposite side of the spectrum after 10 plus plays like the narrative is with some around here : “grop is the best qb in the league now!”

  8. I am happy. They went bold, and tried to go for it, with the quick slant. Too bad it was tipped.
    JG did some easy passes, then attacked the end zone when inside the red zone.
    Unfortunately, Tartt took a bad angle.

    1. He’s not young. Got beat by Chubb last week. He’s a fan favorite for sure, but man we should have upgraded our OL the past two seasons.

  9. Pro football focus rated Staley has number 8 OL in the league from 2018. But a couple of bad plays in preseason and “maybe the niners shouldn’t have extended him…” smh

  10. Another nice drive.

    3 possessions. 3 times into scoring position.

    Samuel looks so good. Nice rotation with Coleman/Breida.

      1. Yes. Pettis has looked ok.

        That backup RG is holding up well too.

        And after a tough start, the HOF TE has come around on the last drive.

  11. For those who questioned Grant when he mentioned the QB’s that Garoppolo beat at the end of 2017, see the first two KC drives compared to the last two KC drives to see why it matters.

    1. Good effort. Should silence the critics (well, at least until the end of the game). I hope that’s it for Jimmy and Kyle does not put him back in. They need to get out of KC without an injury to him.

    1. Did you notice, the Niners did not waste their time outs like a drunken sailor, so they had saved them for the last 2 minutes of the half. They used them wisely, and I must commend KS for a job well done. Of course, he did not read my post, but he did exactly what I wanted. ;p
      I would also like to praise him for the play selection. It seemed like he put JG in the best situations to succeed.

      1. Badly used simile…and overused. 😂

        Like a drunken sailor trying to explain to his superior how he got that “little problem”!

  12. I know jimmy threw a dangerous pass to Pettis in the end zone. But the ball actually did hit his hands. I wonder if Hurd or maybe even Samuel would have made that catch. Pettis I’m sure felt the presence of 3 defenders around him. It’s probably not a good spot to put him in. I’m not advocating for that kind of pass in general, but there may come a time at the end of games where we need a winning drive and……

  13. Breida is looking awesome! Love him. Nice Bounce back from Jimmy G. He is not just a pretty face….needs more reps though. Just 3 penalties so far…..which is good,

    Corners are same old though. Next draft Corners and O-Line should be the 1st, 2nd round pick.

    1. Adam Schefter

      Verified account

      Follow Follow @AdamSchefter
      Filed to ESPN: Andrew Luck has informed the Colts he is retiring from the NFL, per source. There will be a press conference Sunday to make it official, but Luck is mentally worn down, and now checking out.

  14. Solid outing for Jimmy G!
    116.3 QB rating.

    I got 4 tickets for the Niners/Rams game in December (section 129, row 20).
    I’m bringing my wife & kids out from So Cal…Hope to tailgate with any of you knuckleheads 😊…let me know if anyone is interested. Cold beers & rock and roll!! Beat LA!!!

  15. Impressions:

    + Jimmy was okay, above average I’d say. Compared to last week it’s night and day, but there were a few poor throws here and there. The worst I think was in the third drive, to Dwelley, who could have caught the ball anyway, on first down. That ended in a three and out.

    + Running game was excellent

    + Good red zone defence

    – Dwelley looked garbage. Aside from the aforementioned pass, which wasn’t all his fault, in the forth drive, on third down in the red zone, he should have made that catch. Grant damage controlled it with “it was behind him”, but it’s the red zone, and it hit his hands. If this is what he offers, he isn’t good enough to have a roster spot. He’ll get one, but I don’t see any improvement over Celek here. He has a lot to prove between now and week 1.

    – Staley looked horrible. If he’s injured, he shouldn’t be playing. If this is his level now, this should be his laat year here. He needs to start playing better, ASAP.

    -Pettis fumbling the punt (or was it a kick?). Not good enough. People have lauded his return abilities, but we’ve yet to actually see them in action. If that continues, someone else should be returning. It seems Pettis can do almost nothing particularly well.

    – Thomas covering downfield has to be miscommunication, right? Between the 20’s the defence looked poor, and the long TD was atrocious. I don’t want to be too harsh here, as key rushers were missing.

    Overall it was okay. A C+ performance, maybe B-. I don’t want to hear about how great Dwelley is after this, nor do I want to hear about Mullens starting over Jimmy.

    1. What some people are still beating that drum. He can not run block and this scheme needs run blocking more than pass blocking. Brown was slow and getting slower by the year.

  16. JG looked very good tonight. Ross Dwelley absoultley should of caught those passes he dropped. This is the NFL if the ball hits your hands you catch it. Passes weren’t perfect but that’s part of the game. Overall very encouraging!

  17. Fantastic bounce back for Jimmy G! When he’s in a rhythm, he’s fun to watch. Buttery smooth mechanics, and moving efficiently through his progressions. It wasn’t a perfect performance, but he looked like a completely different QB than the one who struggled mightily Monday night, seemingly afraid to take a hit, or properly transfer his weight to the surgically repaired left knee. Props to the interior of the OL as well. My only disappointment during the first half was Pettis’ lack of aggression, and Dwelley failing to corral a catchable 3rd down pass in the redzone.

    A few more first half shoutouts:

    ~ Jimmy Ward played well
    ~ Breida looks fantastic
    ~ Samuel looks dynamic
    ~ The “Hot Boyz” are on fire
    ~ Depth all along the DL

    ~ 23-0 is alive and kicking

    Now let’s see what Nick Mullens can do VS the Chiefs 2nd and 3rd teamers.

      1. I was out of the country, Jack., thanks for asking.

        What I do know from second hand experience, is that coming back from knee reconstruction, sometimes it just takes surviving your first hit, in order to clear that big, subconscious mental hurdle. And I’ve heard this from more than one person who has come back from a torn ACL.

        I watched a replay of Monday night’s game, frame by frame, and while the OL did him no favors, there was simply way to sugar coat Jimmy’s poor performance. Jimmy was clearly dealing with that mental block. He was rushing his passes after staring down his receivers, all while failing to step into his throws. In fact, I was actually concerned that his knee might be bothering him, especially after his last pass attempt, because it looked to me like he didn’t even want to put any weight whatsoever on his front leg during his final pass attempt of the night. After watching him tonight, it seems clear that he was not in a good mental space Monday night, dealing with his first live, full contact action since the injury.

        You cannot play football effectively if you are scared to take a hit. Tonight, Jimmy played with no fear, and that’s a very big deal for the 49ers chances this season! I like Nick Mullens a lot as he a smart, scrappy little QB. But a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo who is playing fast and loose, gives the 49ers the best chance to compete for a postseason birth, and perhaps even a division title now that the Rams seem to be slipping. And that makes Jimmy’s performance tonight, while not exactly perfect, a very big deal for us Forty Niner Faithful!

        23-0 is alive and kicking – Go NINERS!

        1. “I was out of the country, Jack., thanks for asking.”

          Sweet! Hope you enjoyed it. Spent some time in Europe right before the draft. Had a blast.

          *Sorry, didn’t feel like reading the rest of your monologue.

    1. Yes he did, Sebs….and you were VERY much against him–as you were with this entire draft. Our starters without Kittle, Taylor, Ford or Bosa played an AFC finalist straight up………….

      Bitter dregs and a helping of crow for you-i’ll pick up the tab.

      The glass is indeed half-full…………….

      1. I was not against him per se. I was against reaching for him. They probably could have gotten him in the 5th.
        I knew the Niners had to draft a punter, since they let Pinion go.

  18. Does Nick Mullens starting the 3rd quarter tell us anything?

    Trying to remember who were all those posters who screamed when we drafted Wish?

    1. To many people can not change with the times. They were still operating under the premise that you don’t draft a punter. Those days are over. That is until the Aussie rule style kicker become more common.

      1. They needed to draft a punter, since they let Pinion go, but 4th round was a reach. Considering only 2 punters were drafted, many other teams waited until they could get an UDFA.

        1. Would they have gotten someone as good as ‘nowski? No they would not. They got clearly the best pumter in the draft-and he’s playing like it.

          O what a bitter web we weave when first Sebby practice’s to deceive!

    2. I can tell you who one of them was……………and he is now sipping bitter dregs from the bitter harvest he planted.
      So what does that make him? Bitter.

      1. I will root for MW to succeed, now that he is a 49er.
        I will not wish he fails. I want him to help the team win.
        Nothing to be bitter about.

  19. Holy Wow!!!!!!

    I’ve been busy all day and just learned of this bombshell:
    Adam Schefter
    Andrew Luck already has met with Colts’ owner Jim Irsay to tell him that he is retiring, per source.

    1. Lol you must be watching a different game. Mullens hasn’t made up for missing that long throw yet which was the worst pass attempt of the entire game. Jimmy heavily outplayed him and wasn’t perfect himself. Those misses might be what wins Beathard the backup job actually.

    1. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with him.
      Hopefully Lynch can at least makes some trades with this plethora of D line talent.

  20. sign him to a three-year deal before the season begins..at the elast he is a solid character player and a great backup who knows the playbook.

    1. It was inevitable. He was washed up for some time. The Shanahan offense gave him an extension for a while. Not that uncommon for a RB. Niner fans were spoiled by that freak Gore. He never got old. Most RB’s shelf life is very short.

      1. Who would that leave for WR’s? Bourne, Goodwin, Deebo, Hurd, Taylor (IR). Seems a little light to me without Taylor being healthy and Bourne isn’t reliable. Deebo and Hurd show promise. Not sure what KS is doing, maybe getting guys reps in the system?

        1. They are having a very spirited competition.
          I agree. if they put Taylor on IR with a mid season designation to return, he can fully heal and they can keep Matthews and James. Hopefully, they can trade away Bourne.

  21. Garappolo struggles in preseason.
    Garappolo fans: preseason doesn’t count
    Garaappolo plays well in preseason.
    Garappolo fans: See, we told you he was good.

  22. The Niners running game really is underrated. There is no talisman RB but so much speed and it’s been money all game long.

  23. sign Mullens for 3 years please..he gives you a top backup who is smart and a good character person. Beathard is ok but not a good backup..slow to make decisions.

    1. No question in my mind that Mullens should be Jimmy’s backup. He’s smart, he’s decisive, and he’s scrappy. If he had a little more arm talent, he’d be a surefire starting QB in this league. As he stands now, he’s exactly what you want from your backup QB. He knows the offense inside and out, and he can do enough in this system to win you some games, because he’s efficient, and doesn’t make a lot of costly mistakes. He’s especially effective when the Niners are running the ball effectively, and right now, this team looks like it can run with the best of them! I think the last piece of this puzzle is getting our starting DE’s back in the fold, full go. I still have questions about this secondary, but right now, when healthy, I don’t really see any glaring weaknesses on this football team.

      I’m not one to overreact to the preseason, but based on what I’ve seen, combined with my overall impression of this roster, after free agency and the draft, this definitely looks like a team that should win enough games to make the postseason, regardless of the schedule. If they can’t put together a winning record, it’s time to re-evaluate the front office and coaching staff. No, I don’t think Kyle’s on the hot seat, but some changes would need to take place if they can’t get to at least 8 or 9 wins.

      1. His arm strength did increase over this off season. Perhaps he still had more upside left in him. If he does then he would be one hella QB. Perhaps they can transplant Mullins brain into Kaeps body.

  24. The coaching was much improved. KS finished off the the game , in a smart manner, eating up the clock.
    Sure looked like the second and third string players were playing aggressively.
    Wonder why CJB did not play. Maybe he will start the next game.

  25. Some of the improvements.
    No turnovers
    third down efficiency
    no injuries that I am aware of
    Shanny called a better game but…
    Played a good game on the road against a really good team.

    Pass rush was suspect
    Coverage was suspect
    Tackling needs work
    O-line needs lots of reps hope they play for a bit on Thursday.

    Now that JG has taken his hit I withdraw my hope that he gets hit. :)

    Looks like – We have a punter.
    Niners are not in the Chiefs league yet but they look like they are ascending.

    1. UC,

      The team has done a bang up job of eliminating the problems that have plagued them in this outing. Now for some consistency.

      1. Sour – I think consistency is going to take some time only reps can produce. This team is far from polished but I think we got a glimpse of what is to come. I think there is going to be some more wtf moments before the season is out but all and all it was a good performance tonight.

        1. I think whaat I saw was good, I would just want to see it for more than a preseason game and over the course of 3 games before I get too excited about what it means.

  26. This game revealed some important things.
    1. Jimmy G is fine, the running game is solid, and the offense will be explosive this year.
    2. O-line is a concern – especially at guard. I hope J. Garnett comes back soon and plays to expectations.
    3. Richie James and Jordan Matthews have made the team.
    4. The linebackers look good. Azeez Al-Shaair has made the team.
    5. D-line depth is impressive. D. Moore and K. Givens impressed today.
    6. I’m glad nobody got hurt

  27. WRS

    Here’s who I would keep:


    Taylor on IR for six weeks.

    Marquise Goodwin is expendable.

  28. Back in the old days, QBs like CJ Beathard also used to be punters. Danny White, Bob Lee, Randall Cunningham, Steve Spurrier. Maybe CJ should take up punting on the side.

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