Smith played in the entire first half against the 49ers and completed just 7-16 passes for 62 yards, finishing with a QB rating of 54.7. The ball saw the grass more often than it did Chiefs’ receivers. It didn’t help that he felt pressure all night long against a dominant defensive line and was sacked three times.
Colin Kaepernick was an early exit for the 49ers, being a part of just five snaps in the first drive before the backups took over. Head coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t risk any potential for an injury on a position that finally hasn’t received much criticism for the team since Smith was at the helm.
The special teams were the real stars of the show with four made field goals in the first half and Quintin Demps returning a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Chiefs in the sixth minute of the game.
Both teams struggled offensively with both converting 7-28 third down opportunities and counting as they reach the middle of the fourth quarter.
None of this should be made to assume that the 49ers should finally be happy that Smith is gone after looking terrible against his former team. Preseason doesn’t mean anything except for players that are trying to make the cut. He’ll have a chance to improve and potentially thrive with the Chiefs.
But the 49ers are heading in a better direction without him, and some of his play tonight gave fans a reminder of what they watched for nine seasons with him under center.