Football

San Francisco 49ers fullback Tyler McCloskey, right, runs past Kansas City Chiefs' Kenneth Acker to score a touchdown during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. (Ed Zurga / Associated Press)

NFL Preseason Roundup: Alex Smith, Patrick Mahomes solid before 49ers rally past Chiefs, 27-17

(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —-    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 in Kansas City, Missouri.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Steelers 20, Giants 12: Rookie quarterback Josh Dobbs threw a 28-yard touchdown pass and Chris Boswell kicked a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter to give Pittsburgh the lead for good in a preseason win over New York in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Steelers capitalized on two major Giants’ turnovers in the preseason opener for both teams.

Terrell Watson added a 15-yard touchdown run in a game that had little offense with Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers and Eli Manning of the Giants being given the night off.

Pittsburgh also was without injured backup Landry Jones, but that didn’t matter because the Giants didn’t get much from either Josh Johnson or Geno Smith, and New York was generous with the football.

Dobbs, a fourth-round draft pick out of Tennessee, hit Cobi Hamilton on his touchdown pass on the first play after Donte Deayon fumbled a punt inside his own 30 and Mike Hilton recovered.

Seven seconds later, Hamilton beat Valentino Blake for a touchdown and a 10-9 lead with 33 seconds left in the half.

A 45-yard field goal by Mike Nugent on the opening series of the second half put New York ahead 12-10, but Arthur Moats intercepted Smith later in the quarter and returned the ball to the New York 14, setting up Boswell’s go-ahead kick.

Watson capped a nine-play, 53-yard drive that Bart Houston guided in his first series after taking over for Dobbs, who was 8 of 15 for 100 yards and two interceptions.

Both picks led to scores. Blake’s interception and 11-yard return to the Steelers 39 set up a 27-yard field goal by rookie Aldrick Rosas, who added a 52-yarder late in the second quarter for a 9-3 lead.

An interception by lineman Devon Taylor led to a 30-yard field goal by Nugent and a 6-0 lead.

A 44-yard pass from Dobbs to Hamilton set up Boswell’s first field goal, a 48-yarder.

Bengals 23, Buccaneers 12: Ryan Fitzpatrick made a good initial impression with Tampa Bay, completing his first series with a 6-yard touchdown run, before host Cincinnati pulled away to a victory over the Buccaneers.

The 34-year-old quarterback signed a one-year deal for a chance to back up Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick had mixed results after his TD, going 6 of 13 overall with an interception. He also scrambled twice for 15 yards. Fitzpatrick lost the ball while trying to throw, but recovered his fumble.

Ryan Griffin – Tampa Bay’s third-string quarterback the past two seasons – left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury and didn’t return, forcing Fitzpatrick back into the game.

Tampa Bay opened the game with a 14-play, 92-yard drive, but had to settle for a field goal after Adam “Pacman” Jones broke up a pair of Winston’s passes in the end zone. Jones is suspended by the NFL for the season opener because of his offseason arrest.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was on the sideline after missing a practice last week because of a knee problem.

Andy Dalton had his full complement of receivers – A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert have returned from significant injuries last season – and moved the offense smoothly on Cincinnati’s opening drive before making a bad decision. Vernon Hargreaves III anticipated Dalton’s sideline throw and picked off a pass at the 1-yard line.

Dalton had plenty of time to throw behind Cincinnati’s reconfigured line.

“I just wish I could have that last play back,” said Dalton, who was 4 of 5 for 38 yards on his only drive.

Green, who missed the last half of last season with a hamstring injury, had a pair of catches for 21 yards.

Both teams have kicker competitions that were in the spotlight in their preseason opener.

Roberto Aguayo made a 20-yard field goal on Tampa Bay’s opening possession, but he was wide right on a 47-yard try and hit the right upright on the extra-point attempt. Nick Folk was good from 45 yards on his only chance.

The Bengals’ kickers were perfect. Randy Bullock made field goals of 54 and 49 yards and his extra-point try. Jake Elliott, who was drafted in the fifth round, connected from 45 yards and also made an extra point.

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