Two unfamiliar, non-conference opponents will meet as the Kansas City Chiefs host the San Francisco 49ers in week three of the NFL season. These two teams have only met twice since 2002, with the Chiefs winning the most recent game 41-0. Vegas odds have placed the 49ers as +3-point favorites on the road.
Kansas City (2-0) has started off better than expected, including last week’s 16-14 win over the Cleveland Browns. The victory was not pretty, especially on offense, as they could muster only three Ryan Succop field goals and no offensive touchdowns. Quarterback Matt Cassel has really struggled this year with a passer rating of 55.8 and only 1 touchdown pass through two games. He has had difficulty his accuracy and has looked uncomfortable in the pocket. The Chiefs were also supposed to have a strong ground game with Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones and they had their moments. Take away two long runs by Charles and the duo has struggled also. The Chiefs need to involve receiver Dwayne Bowe in the offense and this could be the week.
The 49ers (0-2) narrowly lost to the New Orleans Saints 25-22 in a game that the defense played well enough to win. The linebackers have been active for the 49ers, with Patrick Willis leading the way with 19 tackles and a sack. Willis, Takeo Spikes, and Manny Lawson will be counted-on to contain the Chiefs ground game and force Cassel to throw. The strategy could back fire, though, as the 49ers secondary has made only one interception this season while allowing 4 TD passes and 424 passing yards. This could be the week Cassel gets better.
The Chiefs have been winning by making big plays in the return game and on defense. Look for that trend to continue as the Chiefs look to beat the Vegas odds and defeat an 0-2 road favorite at home. The Chiefs should have enough to win outright.
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