Gregorian Chants

Chiefs A-Z: Looking back at Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the 49ers

M is for Mizzou’s Justin Smith, the San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman who suddenly is 35 years old. Sunday against the Chiefs, he forced a fumble and had three tackles, including one for a loss.
M is for Mizzou’s Justin Smith, the San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman who suddenly is 35 years old. Sunday against the Chiefs, he forced a fumble and had three tackles, including one for a loss. The Associated Press

An A-Z rewind of the Chiefs’ 22-17 loss to the 49ers and a fast-forward look ahead:

A is for Alex Smith, who had a more bitter than sweet first game against his former team despite a swift start. Smith threw for two touchdowns and completed 17 of 31 passes for 175 yards, but in the fourth quarter he had a crucial third and one pass tipped away and threw an interception to douse the Chiefs last chance.

B is for bye week, a needed one, ahead for the Chiefs before they return to the West Coast for their next game Oct. 19 at San Diego.

C is for Charles, Jamaal, who rushed for 80 yards on 15 carries to overtake Larry Johnson for second place on the Chiefs’ career rushing list with 6,018 yards. He needs 56 yards to top fellow former Texas Longhorn Priest Holmes.

D is for De’Anthony Thomas, the rookie who had missed the first four games with a hamstring injury but made an electrifying first impression with a 28-yard punt return on his first career touch and a 17-yard touchdown reception on his second.

E is for errors, two pivotal ones by Chiefs special teams in the fourth quarter: a fake punt by San Francisco from its own 29 sprung the 49ers to the go-ahead field goal, and twelve men on the field for the Chiefs later allowed the 49ers to keep the ball and drain more clock before accounting for the final margin.

F is for favorable field position for the Chiefs, who thanks to punter Dustin Colquitt, kicker Cairo Santos and special teams coverage kept their opponent far afield again. Until they intercepted Smith on KC’s last drive, the 49ers never took over past their own 28-yard line … a week after the Patriots never started past their own 20 against the Chiefs.

G is for gamble, make or break, by the 49ers with a fake punt on fourth and three at their own 29 trailing 17-16 early in the fourth quarter. Up-back Craig Dahl churned through the middle to convert and energize the 49ers to the go-ahead field goal. Momentum is an elusive concept, but if ever a play changed a game that was it.

H is for home games ahead for the Chiefs … Oct. 26 against the St. Louis Rams, 27 days after their last one at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 29.

I is for interceptions thrown and fumbles lost by San Francisco, zero, meaning the Chiefs failed to force a turnover for the fourth time in five games.

J is for Justin Houston, who had his sixth sack of the season and 32nd of his career. Allen Bailey added 1.5 for the Chiefs, who now have 15 — fourth in the NFL.

K is for Kauffman Stadium, from where Royals provided a mesmerizing distraction via TV in the Levi’s Stadium press box Sunday night.

L is for Levi’s Stadium, which gives a new meaning to home away from home. The 49ers’ gleaming $1.3 billion new crib is 45 miles from the San Francisco — about the distance from the city it would be for the Chiefs to set up in St. Joseph.

M is for Mizzou’s Justin Smith, the 49er defensive lineman who suddenly is 35 years old. He forced a fumble and had three tackles, including one for a loss.

N is for nothing that could have been done about Brandon Lloyd’s dazzling 29-yard reception over Sean Smith after the fake punt. Smith was velcroed to Lloyd and well-positioned; Lloyd, a Blue Springs product, just made a terrific play.

O is for offensive breakdown in the second half by the Chiefs, who had just four first downs and 95 yards after halftime.

P is for Phil Dawson, the 39-year-old 49ers kicker who booted five field goals to carry the 49ers on a day they managed just one touchdown.

Q is for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whom the 49ers chose to keep over Smith and got the best of him by completing 14 of 26 for 201 yards and a touchdown.

R is for replacement linebackers, James-Michael Johnson and Josh Mauga, playing in place of injured Derrick Johnson and Joe Mays. They combined for 21 tackles, including 10 unassisted by Mauga, to lead the Chiefs.

S is for sacks, three unleashed by the Chiefs in a five-play sequence (not counting a field goal attempt) in the third quarter.

T is for third-down conversions: The Chiefs executed their first five but just one of their last six.

U is for underutilized: Star receiver Dwayne Bowe had three catches for 42 yards and has just 14 for 195 this season and tight end Travis Kelce had just two for 15 yards (one a 2-yard TD reception) after racking up 18 for 259 coming in.

V is for vanishing act by Chiefs running back Knile Davis, who carried just twice for six yards. He did return five kickoffs for 119 yards, including a 34-yarder, but Thomas was in for him on the last 49er kickoff.

W is for wouldn’t it be something if the Chiefs-Rams game came during an I-70 World Series encore between the Royals and Cardinals?

X is for X-factor: the San Francisco running game, which racked up 171 yards as the Chiefs picked up 90.

Y is for yards mustered by the Chiefs, 252, after they’d amassed 453 six days before against New England.

Z is for zero, the number of first downs the Chiefs had in the fourth quarter, when the 49ers had the ball for 13:16.

To reach Vahe Gregorian, call 816-234-4868 or send email to Follow him on Twitter at @vgregorian. For previous columns, go to