KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Smith led the Chiefs to a quick touchdown and first-round pick Patrick Mahomes II had an impressive debut before the San Francisco backups led the 49ers to a 27-17 victory over Kansas City in their preseason opener Friday night.
“I’m right there, right? I’m watching intently,” said Smith, who was 4 for 6 for 48 yards in his only series. “We’re a group. We’re a team. So certainly following those guys, for sure. The situations they get — if there is anything I can offer, trying to help out any way I can.”
Smith hit speedster Tyreek Hill for a 32-yard gain on the first play of the game, and Spencer Ware capped a 75-yard march with a short TD run to give the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
It was the only series for Smith, who finished 4 of 6 for 48 yards.
Mahomes checked in for the first time late in the second quarter, drawing perhaps the biggest roar of the night. The 10th overall draft pick had a long completion wiped out by a penalty on his first play, but later capitalized on a blocked punt with a short touchdown throw to fellow rookie Marcus Kemp.
Mahomes was 7 of 9 for 49 yards as he duels with Tyler Bray for the No. 2 job.
“Definitely, Adrenaline was pumping,” he said. “You’re living out a dream. You’re doing something you imagined in backyards when you were a little kid, so I definitely was excited.”
San Francisco rookie C.J. Beathard hit Kendrick Bourne for a 46-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter, then found him for a tying two-point conversion. The Chiefs promptly fumbled the ball back and Beathard added a short TD pass to Tyler McCloskey with 10:41 left to give the 49ers the lead for good.
“There’s still so many things to learn from this tape,” Beathard said. “There’s things that I could improve on just by watching the film, and I’m excited to get back and watch it.”
Beathard, a third-round pick, outplayed both quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart.
Brian Hoyer did little to make new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan feel good about giving the longtime NFL journeyman the starting job at the onset of training camp. He was 1 of 4 for three yards in two offensive series, going three-and-out on both of them.
Matt Barkley was first off the bench and led San Francisco to a pair of field goals, playing roughly two quarters. He was 10 of 17 for 168 yards without any major mistakes.
“You worry about what you can control,” Hoyer said. “Go back and watch the film and make the corrections. The good thing was we saw that second group come in and kind of pick up what we needed to go to and really execute the offense. They did a good job.”
Bray was first off the bench for Kansas City. He had an 83-yard TD pass to Chris Conley wiped out by offensive pass interference, then had an errant throw picked off. The fifth-year quarterback, who has yet to appear in a regular-season game, finished 5 of 8 for 63 yards.
HYDE’S BACKUP: Running back Carlos Hyde carried twice for San Francisco before giving way to Matt Breida and Joe Williams, a pair of rookies competing for the No. 2 job. Williams appeared to do more with fewer chances, showing impressive burst in the open field.
FICKEN DOES KICKIN: Sam Ficken handled kicking duties for Kansas City while Cairo Santos deals with a groin injury. The former Penn State star hit a 45-yard field goal in the third quarter.
AILING CHIEFS: All-Pro S Eric Berry did not suit up after missing several practices with a heel injury. He was joined on the sideline by DE Chris Jones, LB Tamba Hali and NT Bennie Logan, all of whom are dealing with knee injuries. TE Travis Kelce also was out with swelling in his knee. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has been optimistic that all of them will be ready for the regular season.
SUFFERING NINERS: The 49ers were without a pair of starters in the secondary with FS Jimmie Ward (hamstring) on the PUP list and CB Dontae Johnson sidelined with a concussion. DT DeForest Buckner left after the first series with an ankle injury. On offense, starting LG Joshua Garnett (ribs) and rookie TE George Kittle (hamstring) were not available.
WELCOME BACK: 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman and Chiefs counterpart Derrick Johnson were back after tearing their Achilles’ tendons last season. Bowman hurt his in October and Johnson hurt his in December.
“For the little bit of plays I played, it just felt good to get back out there, and have another year,” Bowman said. “You know, live up to what I’ve built for myself, see what this team has to offer and what we can get better at for later weeks.”