Kaepernick: 'I don't like being on the sideline'
Frank Gore rushed for 54 yards on two attempts. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Smith is no longer around, and the 49ers have an issue at backup quarterback.
The 49ers have every reason to feel good about starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. And they have every reason to be concerned about the depth behind him.
Thus, Kaepernick's night came to a quick and cautious conclusion after one series, consisting of four snaps under center. Coach Jim Harbaugh wanted to see reserve quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien compete for the backup role.
Things remain unsettled behind Kaepernick, as neither McCoy nor Tolzien was impressive in the 49ers' 15-13 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
But rookie B.J. Daniels had a nice showing and might have inserted himself into the conversation, as he led the 49ers to their first touchdown of the exhibition season. Daniels completed 6 of 9 passes for 72 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to undrafted rookie Chuck Jacobs with 2:02 remaining in the game.
Kaepernick had a short night. He completed one of two pass attempts for minus-3 yards. He overthrew receiver Chad Hall in the end zone to end his one and only drive of the game. Running back Frank Gore tore off a 52-yard run on the opening play from scrimmage to set up a Phil Dawson field goal.
Meanwhile, Smith played the entire first half against his former team. The 49ers traded their backup quarterback to Kansas City in the offseason for two draft picks.
Smith did not exactly light it up against his former teammates, either.
Smith completed 7 of 16 passes for 62 yards. He was sacked three times for minus-33 yards. Reserve 49ers defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie was flagged for what appeared to be an inadvertent helmet-to-helmet hit on Smith, who was being pursued from behind by outside linebacker Parys Haralson.
The 49ers went from having a solid situation at backup quarterback last season to a lot of questions with the trade of Smith to Kansas City.
McCoy, acquired in an offseason trade from the Cleveland Browns, completed three of six passes for 35 yards and one interception. He also rushed four times for 37 yards. Tolzien completed three of eight for 30 yards. He rushed twice for 3 yards.
Just for kicks: Dawson accounted for the 49ers' first 15 points of the exhibition games. After kicking two field goals a week ago, Dawson had a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter, and added a pair of 55-yard field goals. The 49ers signed Dawson to a one-year, $2.35 million contract to replace David Akers as the team's kicker.
For starters: Gore finished with 54 yards rushing on two carries. The 49ers starting offensive line played three possessions. Marlon Moore started alongside Anquan Boldin at wide receiver for the 49ers.
The 49ers' starters on defense were off the field after a seven-play series that included the Chiefs' successful conversion of a fourth-and-1 running play from their own 35-yard line. Craig Dahl started at free safety.
Premium reserves: Haralson had one sack, a couple pressures and even blocked a punt. He missed last season with a torn triceps, but should be the primary backup to Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks on the outside.
Rookie safety Eric Reid entered the game in the first quarter and played well, as he looks to move into the starting lineup for the season opener on Sept. 8 against the Green Bay Packers. Reid perfectly timed a blitz near the goal line to force Smith into a third-down incompletion.
Veteran cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha held up in coverage on two first-quarter pass attempts to wide receiver Jon Baldwin. Asomugha had good coverage deep on a pass that Smith overthrew for Baldwin. Two plays later, Asomugha ran with Baldwin along the sideline as Smith's pass sailed out of bounds.
Cornerback Perrish Cox blitzed off the blind side to sack backup Kansas City quarterback Chase Daniels late in the third quarter.
[RELATED: Smith takes lumps against 49ers defense]
Bubble watch: The 49ers did not get many answers in the crowded competition at wide receiver because the 49ers' quarterbacks had a difficult time getting the ball to the wideouts.
Chad Hall had two receptions for 39 yards. He was the only wide receiver with any catches through the first three quarters.
Daniels spread the ball around with completion to tight end MarQueis Gray (13 yards), as well as wide receivers Lavelle Hawkins (receptions of 16 and 4 yards), Austin Collie (11) and Jacobs (14) in the fourth quarter before finding Jacobs again for the go-ahead score late in the game.
Needs improvement: The 49ers kickoff coverage let them down during the regular season, and it played a big role in the Super Bowl XLVII loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The 49ers had a flashback to Jacoby Jones' 108-kickoff return when Kansas City's Quinton Demps outraced the 49ers' coverage unit on his way to a 104-yard return in the first quarter.
The 49ers also had a breakdown on punt coverage when Devon Wylie had a 52-yard return of a Colton Schmidt punt in the third quarter. The special-teams woes continued when the 49ers had an extra point blocked.
Center Jonathan Goodwin and Tolzien did not connect on their first snap together late in the first quarter. The play resulted in a 5-yard loss. The 49ers struggled with six mishandled snaps during their practice Saturday at Candlestick Park.
Receiver A.J. Jenkins struggled mightily to gain any separation against Chiefs right cornerback Sean Smith, who intercepted Colt McCoy on a pass intended for Jenkins. The 49ers were interested in signing Smith as a free agent in the offseason until his price tag rose too high. Smith signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract with Kansas City. Jenkins had a 21-yard reception in the third quarter against the Chiefs' second-string defense but it was nullified due to a Daniel Kilgore holding penalty.
Sitting this one out: Rookie receiver Quinton Patton was cleared to begin catching passes with both hands. He has been limited since the opening of training camp due to an injury to his left index finger. But Patton did not suit up for Friday's game.
Receiver Kyle Williams and running back Kendall Hunter made the trip to Kansas City and participated in warmups but did not suit up for the game.
Tight end Vance McDonald (hamstring) and safety Bubba Ventrone (hamstring), along with linebacker Patrick Willis (right hand fracture) and cornerback Chris Culliver (torn ACL), did not travel to Kansas City.
What's next: The 49ers return to action for their third exhibition game on Sunday, Aug. 25, at Candlestick Park against the Minnesota Vikings. Two days later, the 49ers must execute their first round of cuts, as NFL rosters must be trimmed from 90 to a maximum of 75 players.