SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) --
did not have a pleasant time in the Bay Area.
Facing the NFL's highest-scoring offense, the San Francisco 49ers held Holmes to 51 yards rushing and Gonzalez to one catch for six yards and posted a 17-13 victory over the
Kansas City Chiefs
in an interconference game.
"The main thing for us in this game was to be physical and we were," said 49ers defensive end
. "You have to be physical against this type of team with the way they can run the ball."
The Chiefs (4-5) averaged 32.4 points in their first eight games, but reached the end zone just once on a 12-yard touchdown run by Holmes 5:54 into the second quarter. It was the league-leading 16th touchdown of the season for Holmes.
However, the NFL's reigning rushing champion carried the ball just 11 times and raised his season total to 908 rushing yards, second in the league to San Diego's
The 49ers (7-2) also succeeded in making Holmes a non-factor as a receiver, holding him to two catches for five yards. He entered with 51 receptions for 440 yards.
"It was a team effort (to contain Holmes)," 49ers coach Steve Mariucci said. "We tried to swarm the whole game."
"When you have a defensive performance like that, it's not one player. It's everybody," said 49ers linebacker Derek Smith.
Gonzalez, the NFL's premier tight end who played his college ball at California, was also a non-factor. Linebacker
, a first-round pick of the Niners in 2000, had the primary responsibility of covering Gonzalez.
"He's the best tight end in the league and I like playing against him," Peterson said. "I strive on competition and he's a Pro Bowler. Coach gave me an assignment to go and take him and I wanted to make sure I did just that."
was one of our areas of emphasis. We have to know where he is at all times," Mariucci said. "
is getting better and better with the coverage and is turning into the complete linebacker with his tackling and rushing the passer. He's coming into his own."
When the Chiefs drove to midfield on their final possession, it was Peterson who knocked away a pass by
intended for Gonzalez on a 4th-and-11 play to seal the win.
Green completed three straight passes to
for 52 yards, before the Niners' defense stiffened. Green was sacked and threw two incompletions before Peterson batted away his final pass.
"Our defense had a chance to win the game on the last drive and they did that," Mariucci said.
"We have to make big stops like that," 49ers defensive tackle
said. "That is what championship teams are made of."
The 49ers put together three scoring drives in the first half, but were shut out in the second half by a defense that had yielded a league-high 30 points per game.
"We won today and that's the only stat that matters," said 49ers quarterback
, who was 25-of-35 for 175 yards with an interception. "In the first half, we were controlling the tempo of the game. Our offense was disappointing in the second half, but our defense was tremendous."
scored on a five-yard run and
had a six-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to help San Francisco build a 17-10 halftime lead. The two backs combined for 106 yards on 24 carries.
The 49ers, who held the ball for more than 15 straight minutes in last week's overtime win at Oakland, controlled the ball for more than 38 minutes on Sunday.
"We couldn't get them off the field," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. "They ate up the clock. I'm sure they wanted to do that because of our high-powered offense. But we were not the leading scoring team in football today. We couldn't beat a junior high school today.
"We didn't get it done. I credit first the 49ers defense, but then we've got to do a better job of coaching."
Green was 15-of-27 for 193 yards. Kennison was the main target with eight catches for 134 yards.
San Francisco star receiver
had seven catches for just 51 yards.
"Our defense kept us in the game. Frankly, we haven't always been able to say that this season," said Chiefs guard
. "Our offense is capable of putting a lot of points up, so if the defense keeps improving, we should be in pretty good shape."
San Francisco started the game with a 15-play drive that lasted nearly eight minutes and resulted in a 42-yard field goal by
Kansas City responded with an 11-play, 48-yard drive that lasted nearly five minutes and
capped it with a 33-yard field goal.
The Niners then controlled the ball for six minutes, driving 71 yards in 11 plays, and took a 10-3 lead on a five-yard touchdown run by Hearst. Garcia hit
with a 15-yard pass and Owens gained 19 yards on a reverse to highlight the drive.
returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yards to midfield. Green then connected with Kennison on a 21-yard pass and Holmes followed with an 11-yard run. Two plays later, Holmes scored on a 12-yard run to tie the game at 10-10 with 9:06 left in the half.
The 49ers then controlled the ball 6 1/2 minutes, driving 58 yards in 11 plays for the go-ahead touchdown - a six-yard run by Barlow. Garcia hit Streets with an 18-yard pass and connected with Hearst on a six-yard pass on a 3rd-and-5 play to keep the drive alive before Barlow scored with 2:40 left in the half.
San Francisco had a chance to add to their lead, but a pass by Garcia was intercepted by cornerback
near the goal line as time expired in the half.
Andersen kicked a 43-yard field goal 39 seconds into the fourth quarter to pull the Chiefs within 17-13.