Notebook: Chiefs LB Dee Ford Leaves With Groin Injury vs. 49ers

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris (84) celebrates with running back Kareem Hunt (27) after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford left Sunday's 38-27 win over the San Francisco 49ers with a groin injury and will undergo further examination on Monday, head coach Andy Reid said following the game.

“He strained his groin, and we'll just see how he does in the next day or so,” Reid said. “He'll have an MRI tomorrow, and then we'll go from there.”

Ford appeared in good spirits in the locker room following the game but did not speak to reporters. The fifth-year veteran picked up his second sack of the season against the 49ers, and is tied for the team lead with Justin Houston and Allen Bailey.

Wide receiver Chris Conley briefly left the game with a right ankle injury after getting tangled up with cornerback K'Waun Williams on a throw to the end zone. Williams drew a defensive pass interference flag on the play. Athletic trainers rewrapped both of Conley's ankles, and he later reentered the game. On the next drive Conley hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass. He credited the team's training staff for getting him

“We're working on them. We hve a great training staff here and they'll take care of this week and we'll be good this week.

The Chiefs don't play again until next Monday night at the Denver Broncos, which gives Ford and his teammates extra rest preparing for an AFC West showdown.

“We've got to make sure we get ready to go through the process there,” Reid said. “But in the meantime the guys will get an extra day of rest there, which I think is important right now.”

Red Zone Efficiency

Last year the Chiefs ranked near the bottom of the NFL in red zone efficiency, ranking 29th in the league in scoring touchdowns inside the red zone. This year's team scored touchdowns on its first 11 trips insides the red zone, before settling for a field goal on their last scoring drive on Sunday.

Reid gives credit to his quarterback Patrick Mahomes for making throws through tight windows in the red zone.

“He's seeing it down there, the guys are getting open, they are working to get open, which is important when you are in the red zone,” Reid said.

The Chiefs scored touchdowns on 45.3 percent of their red zone tries last season. This year they've scored on 91.7 percent of their trips to the red zone, second behind only Baltimore which has scored on all 12 of its red zone trips this season.

Mahomes, naturally, defers credit for the red zone success to his head coach and his teammates.

“First off the scheme, coach Reid's been drawing up a lot of really good plays,” Mahomes said. “And then just kind of getting the ball out of my hands. We have so many playmakers around here, and the offense line is blocking well. I'm getting the ball out of my hands and getting it to those guys, and they are putting it in the end zone.”

Getting Hunt Untracked

Kareem Hunt rattled off his first two rushing touchdowns of the season in the first quarter, and while his rushing numbers remain well off his prolific 2017 pace as a rookie, that's OK with Hunt.

“I feel like we are getting it going all around,” Hunt said. “The pass game can't be stopped. It makes my job easier and a more chill day for me.”

Hunt has 52 carries on the season for 168 yards, a meager 3.2 yards per carry. At this point last season, Hunt had 47 carries for 401 yards and four touchdowns.

But this year the Chiefs have deployed Hunt in a different fashion. He has just 19 carries for 71 yards in the first half of games, but has 22 carries for 65 yards in the fourth quarter. The club has primarily used Hunt as a closer to ground games late with the Chiefs ahead.

“We know how good Kareem is and have a lot of trust in him,” Reid said. “He will get you yards, it's positive yards. We are always trying to get him going.”

Second-half let down

The Chiefs offense blitzed the 49ers with five touchdown drives in five possession in the first half, staking out a 35-10 halftime lead.

“Pretty incredible, I'm not going to lie,” right tackle Mitchell Schwartz said. “But that's just an offense firing on all cylinders.”

That early success, however, may have led to a second half letdown. The offense controlled the ball for 16 minutes, 20 seconds and rattled off 41 plays in the first half, but mustered just three points in the second half.

“One thing I can learn is that I need to work on my conditioning because I was pooped, man,” center Mitch Morse said. “That (first half) was so much fun.”

Tight end Travis Kelce said he thought the team's concentration and energy level dropped in the second half.

“We hurt ourselves with some penalties there throughout the game, really,” Kelce said. “In the second half you don't want to hurt yourself, you don't want to be going backwards, you want to stay in front of the sticks and keep drives going.”