Jimmy Garoppolo Looks Sharp as 49ers Beat Chiefs 27-17 in Preseason Action

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IAugust 25, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 24:  Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass during the preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jimmy Garoppolo exorcised his demons at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night with 188 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on 14-of-20 passing in the San Francisco 49ers' 27-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 27-year-old quarterback tore his ACL at Arrowhead in Week 3 of last season, ending his 2018 campaign and first year with the Niners prematurely. In Week 3 of the 2019 preseason, Garoppolo saw his most extensive game action since the injury.

The performance was encouraging for San Francisco after Garoppolo struggled on 1-of-6 passing with one interception last week against the Denver Broncos.

"A lot has happened in the year since [the injury]," Garoppolo said after the game, per ESPN's Nick Wagoner. "I thought it would be good to go back there just to remember everything that I've gone through." 

He added: "All the hearsay and whatever noise is going to go on, you have to ignore it and just go play football. I thought it was a good step coming back here to K.C., where it all started. So, just get that out of the way. It's another step in the right direction."

That said, Arrowhead is Patrick Mahomes' house.

The reigning league MVP's first pass of the game went for 62 yards and a touchdown on a perfectly placed wheel route to running back Damien Williams:

Kansas City Chiefs @Chiefs

#DameDash is LOOOOOOSE 💨 📺: KCTV5 #SFvsKC https://t.co/CbJnC1CQiv

While the Niners' opening drive was halted when Chris Jones swatted down Garoppolo's fourth-down pass, he answered the Chiefs' touchdown by completing all four of his passes and capping off the drive with a 20-yard touchdown toss to a diving Matt Breida:

San Francisco 49ers @49ers

20-yard TD for #22! @JimmyG_10 finds @MattBreida in the back of the end zone to tie it up. #SFvsKC https://t.co/t38ik5e98v

Mahomes' outing concluded after the Chiefs' second drive, and he posted 126 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-10 passing. Another first-team standout for Kansas City was defensive end Frank Clark, who notched his first sack since the Seattle Seahawks traded him to the Chiefs in April.

Clark joined the Chiefs to help rebuild the pass rush after the team traded linebacker Dee Ford to San Francisco in March. Ford, who was second on the team to Jones in sacks last season with 13, did not participate in his return Saturday night as he continues to nurse tendinitis in his knee.

Other Niners kept out of the game:

Eric Branch @Eric_Branch

Also not playing: LB Lee (hand) WR Hurd (back) G Garnett (finger) DL Blair (groin)

In their absence, defensive end Damontre Moore led San Francisco with two sacks—both on Kyle Shurmur, the Chiefs' third quarterback used on the night after Chad Henne replaced Mahomes.

Garoppolo was replaced by Nick Mullens, who started eight games in Garoppolo's place last year. The 24-year-old second-year quarterback saw out the remainder of the game and finished with 84 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions on 8-of-11 passing.

Both Niners' touchdowns post-Garoppolo came on the ground from Jeff Wilson Jr. in the fourth quarter.

On the injury front for the Chiefs, Tyrann Mathieu served as a captain for the game but didn't play because the Chiefs opted to be "cautious" with his shoulder, according to Charles Goodman of Chiefs Wire. The 27-year-old safety exited after one series against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week with a shoulder injury, though it's not considered serious.


What's Next?

San Francisco's (3-0) preseason will finish by hosting the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Chiefs (1-2) will travel to Green Bay. Both games are scheduled for Thursday.