Mahomes, Chiefs warm up before 3rd preseason game against 49ers
Thanks to a 35-yard FG by Robbie Gould with eight seconds until halftime, the San Francisco 49ers lead the Chiefs 13-10 at halftime of the third preseason game.
Patrick Mahomes played into the second quarter for the first time all preseason, and the offense looked much better than it did a week ago against Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Frank Clark recorded his first sack in a Chiefs uniform, knocking 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo back for a loss of seven yards and ending a 49ers drive in the second quarter.
Here are other halftime observations of note from Arrowhead.
Mahomes, offense in sync
A week ago, Mahomes’ timing looked off with his top-flight offensive weapons. But Saturday night, he looked perfectly in rhythm with his teammates.
Mahomes completed his first eight pass attempts before an incompletion on an attempt to Darwin Thompson. He finished the night completing 8-of-10 attempts for 126 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs capped off the first drive by converting a third-and-3 with a 62-yard touchdown on a wheel route to Damien Williams.
On the next drive, Mahomes had completions of eight, 13, and 11 yards to Williams, Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill, respectively, to open the series.
Though Andy Reid’s usual game plan is to keep the starters in through halftime of the third preseason game, Mahomes’ night finished in the second quarter after an eight-yard scramble that ended in a head-first dive.
Chad Henne replaced the reigning MVP on the next drive.
Shake ups to starters
Cam Erving started at left guard in place of Andrew Wylie — a move Reid alluded to earlier in the week when he said that both players were starting caliber. Wylie, though, got in on the second drive at right guard in place of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
On defense, safety Tyrann Mathieu didn’t play as the Chiefs exercised an abudance of caution with a shoulder injury he suffered in the first drive of last week’s game in Pittsburgh.
Instead, rookie Juan Thornhill got his first start of the preseason. He had an up-and-down first half, giving up a 33-yard catch in a drive that led to a touchdown a play later.
Intrigue at cornerback and running back
It’s no secret the Chiefs are thin at cornerback, and that position group nearly thinned out more when starting corner Bashuad Breeland went down with an apparent left arm/shoulder injury when he forced Matt Breida out of bounds in the first quarter.
Breeland spent about a minute on the ground in front of the 49ers’ bench before jogging off the field. He was evaluated in the tent and came back on the field for the next defensive series.
Normally, Breeland is the right cornerback, but he started the night on the left side. When he went out, Charvarius Ward moved to the left and rookie Herb Miller came out to anchor the right spot.
Miller came off the field when Breeland came back. In the second quarter, new corner Morris Claiborne got his first action of the preseason.
At running back, Damien Williams took his place as the starter. But there was a shakeup behind him as Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson also got time with the first-team offense. Veteran running back Carlos Hyde didn’t get any action in the first half against his former team, even though he’s listed as the second-team running back.