KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In Friday night’s National Football League preseason game with the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs went away from using the fullback in their offensive game plan as they searched for some answers in their passing game, leaving Anthony Sherman and Braden Wilson out of the mix for much of the night.
The Chiefs, who were edged 15-13 by the Niners at Arrowhead Stadium, need first-year quarterback Alex Smith to pump some life into an offense that has been dormant in developing a downfield attack during an 0-2 start. Smith hit on only 6 of 17 passes for 62 yards while being sacked three times for minus-17 yards against his former teammates in one half of action.
Protection was an eyesore as the Niners registered a total of seven sacks, including three on backup Chase Daniel and one on Tyler Bray.
Daniel, out of the University of Missouri, did connect on all six of his passes for 51 yards, and Bray, a rookie out of Tennessee, who finished the game, was 4 for 8 for 24 yards.
“Offensively, we’ve got to go back and have to be able to throw the football in this league,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said, “and we’ve got to do a little better job of protection up front and we’ll do that.
“(The 49ers) gave us a lot of different looks, so that will help us down the road. There are a bunch of things we can learn from that.”
Through the first two games, the Chiefs have totaled only 316 yards on 38 receptions — only an 8.3 yards-per-catch average. Their longest pass play has gone for only 18 yards.
• Wilson on special teams
A rookie fullback and sixth-round draft pick out of Kansas State, Wilson was active on some special teams, an area that has been a bright spot in virtually every facet for the Chiefs.
“I got a handful of those as well,” said Wilson in the Chiefs’ locker room after the game. “I’m really trying capitalize on those because that’s going to be my deal right now. I didn’t get a whole lot of reps, but the reps I did get, I felt I did pretty well.
“The plays I did get in, I tried to capitalized on and just showed that I could do my part and help the team out.”
It was Wilson’s first game at Arrowhead, a place he had been to as a young fan a number of times. He said he also avidly watched the Chiefs on television on Sundays for years, and now he knows first-hand what’s like to play at one of the NFL’s most famous venues.
“It’s a big deal,” Wilson said. “It’s really hard to explain. It’s awesome, being able to step on the field in that uniform. I’ve got to keep doing my part and earn a spot on the team so I can keep doing it.”
The Chiefs’ next preseason game is next Saturday night against the host Pittsburgh Steelers, starting at 6:30. Kansas City wraps up the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 29, against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead, kicking off at 7 p.m.
The Chiefs’ regular-season opener is Sept. 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road.