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Niners spoil Alex Smith's return to San Francisco

Alex Smith's return to San Francisco did not have a storybook ending, unless you were a 49ers fan. His interception in the closing minutes clinched a 22-17 win for the 49ers. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Give Jim Harbaugh and Brandon Lloyd credit for turning this game around. Harbaugh's fake punt call early in the fourth quarter kept a drive going. Brandon Lloyd subsequently pulled off a ridiculous third-and-long leaping grab to put the 49ers in position for a go-ahead field goal.
  1. Andy Reid also deserves an assist for the 49ers' win. Jamaal Charles averaged over 5 yards per carry, yet the Chiefs kept throwing the ball on third-and-1. It backfired twice, short-circuiting drives. He punted on fourth-and-4 from the 49ers' 36-yard line in the second half, resulting in a silly touchback with a net 16 yards. 

The biggest coaching blunder: The Chiefs were hit with a penalty for 12 men on the field with under five minutes to play on a 53-yard 49ers field goal attempt. San Francisco was then able to burn time off the clock, rob the Chiefs of their timeouts and set up an easier field goal.

  1. Smith started out hot by helping the Chiefs convert their first five third downs. This was a game dominated by the offenses for much of the game despite the score, with plenty of long drives and few punts. But Smith was undone by a few loose throws in the fourth quarter. His game-sealing pick got away from him. The Chiefs' offense looks vastly improved, but they have little big-play ability, with no plays over 20 yards. Smith has to remain razor sharp to keep winning, and he wasn't late Sunday.
  1. The 49ers' fourth quarter woes are a thing of the past. This is the second straight week they have rallied to win late. They aren't out of the woods at 3-2, but they have earned two straight wins against quality competition.
  1. Kansas City is better than their 2-3 record indicates, but they are already buried two losses back to San Diego and Denver in the AFC West. Their path to playoff contention is probably with a wild card.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 5 game and tells you who's leading the pack for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL Now.

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