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Last Is Not Least as 49ers Go on the Defensive Against Chiefs

November 13, 2000|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Lance Schulters has had enough of teams picking on the San Francisco 49ers.

With two devastating hits that set the tone for an improbable dominant defensive performance, Schulters told the Kansas City Chiefs that nothing would be easy at 3Com Park this week.

Charlie Garner rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown, and Schulters led an inspired effort by the NFL's youngest, worst defense as the 49ers ended their five-game losing streak with a 21-7 victory over Kansas City on Sunday.

"I was trying to be intimidating in the middle," Schulters said. "You've got to let people know they can't come across the middle and they can't push you around. We're not going to be soft any more."

San Francisco's defense--dead last in six statistical categories--thoroughly dominated Kansas City's offense, which had scored 109 points in its last three games.

Schulters, a Pro Bowl safety last year and the leader of the 49ers' league-worst secondary, made seven tackles and set the San Francisco defense's physical tone by flattening receivers Derrick Alexander and Sylvester Morris.

Both receivers were briefly knocked out of the game by the hits, and Schulters continued to play despite several bruises and pinched nerves. San Francisco held Kansas City to 290 total yards, and the offense that threw for a team-record 504 yards last week in Oakland couldn't penetrate the 49er pass defense.

Elvis Grbac, making his return to the city where he spent his first four pro seasons, was wildly inaccurate and indecisive, completing 22 of 40 passes for 271 yards, including one interception.

"Usually there's a big play that really sparks this team, and we didn't have that," Grbac said. "Our rhythm was really off in every sense."

The Chiefs (5-5) gained only 107 yards in the first half and needed Donnell Bennett's one-yard touchdown run with 6:27 left to avoid being shut out for the first time in 101 regular-season games.

The 49ers (3-8) moved the ball well on several clock-consuming drives. Jeff Garcia completed 20 of 25 passes for 244 yards and capped two second-quarter drives with short touchdown runs. Garner also had five receptions for 39 yards.

"The past couple of weeks, we've had to get away from our game plan early because we had fallen behind," Garcia said. "We were able to stay in it today."

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