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NFL Preseason Preview - San Francisco (0-1) at Kansas City (0-1)
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(Sports Network) - New Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith will take aim at his old team when the Chiefs host the San Francisco 49ers in preseason action from Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City is searching for its first preseason win after a 17-13 setback to the New Orleans Saints in Andy Reid's preseason debut as head coach last Friday.
Despite falling short, the Chiefs' first-team offense put together an impressive touchdown drive on the game's opening possession, traveling 80 yards on 14 plays. Smith completed 7-of-8 passes for 68 yards on the drive, and running back Jamaal Charles capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run.
The Kansas City defensive starters were equally effective, holding Drew Brees and the Saints high-powered offense to just 16 yards and forcing them to punt from their own 36-yard line.
Friday's matchup will mark the first time Smith will face his former team since being traded to Kansas City following the 2012 season. Smith spent the previous eight seasons with San Francisco after being taken with the No. 1 overall pick out of Utah in 2005. He started in 80 games with the 49ers and helped lead them to two consecutive NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance.
"I'm playing my old team and against guys that I've played with for a while now but it's a preseason game," Smith said. "It's just another step. The focus is on (Week 1 and) Jacksonville for us. That's what it's always been and this is just another step as we work toward that. We're still in camp mode and still working. It's another preseason game and then again it's not."
"It's personal with Alex. It probably is different in that way," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh added. "I feel like there's a great friendship there and a lot of history. He's a unique person. A very good person, in all ways, a good friend. I know the competitor he is and he wants to win and we do as well."
On the injury front Kansas City seems to have survived a scare during the week when Charles was carted off the practice field Monday. Reid later revealed the star running back, who rushed for 1,509 yards last season after missing the majority of the 2011 campaign because of a torn ACL, suffered a foot injury, calling it a strain.
"People are speculating Lisfranc and all that," Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said. "He doesn't have any discomfort there. I've had him see two orthopedic surgeons and everyone agrees he has a mild foot strain."
It's unclear how long Charles will be sidelined but it's almost certain he won't play against the 49ers.
"He's a special player," Smith said. "That's kind of stating the obvious. The next guy has to step up. We have to step up as an offense, and I will kind of pick it up. That's the nature of this game and that's why there's 53 men on the roster. That's what the good teams do. But no question that he will be missed."
The Niners, meanwhile, also faltered in their preseason opener, falling to Denver in the Bay Area, 10-6.
Colin Kaepernick, who took Smith's job in San Francisco, led the 49ers to a 32-yard field goal from Phil Dawson on the first drive of the game and finished his brief stint on the field 4-for-4 with 38 yards.
Dawson later added a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for San Francisco, which lost to Baltimore in the Super Bowl after going 11-4-1 in the regular season and winning the NFC West in 2012.
Kansas City is 2-5 all-time versus the 49ers in preseason play.
08/14 12:34:41 ET
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