Chiefs Host 49ers

September 26th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge

Kansas City ChiefsWeek three in the NFL, and our Chiefs are attempting to go 3-0. Who would have thought that?

Today the Chiefs face the 49ers, my pick to win the NFC West. The 49ers find themselves 0-2 after getting blown out by the Seahawks in week one, and losing a close game on Monday Night Football to the Saints in week two. I watched the 49ers play against the Saints. They’re a good team. Probably farther along in their development than the Chiefs. A win today for the 49ers and they’re still in decent shape in their division.

The 49ers have some interesting ties to the Chiefs. Their offensive coordinator is Jimmy Raye, who was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator under Marty Schottenheimer and Gunther Cunningham from 1998-2000. Their defensive coordinator is Greg Manusky, who played linebacker for the Chiefs and was a star on special teams. Joining them is Kurt Schottenheimer as special teams coordinator, Marty’s brother who also coached for the Chiefs under both Marty and Gunther, and Mike Solari, a fine offensive line coach for the Chiefs for many years who struggled as offensive coordinator under Herm. Whew. People talk about Kansas City becoming the Patriots of the Midwest. It appears that head coach Mike Singletary has taken the coaching staff from the Chiefs in the ’90s and reassembled them on the west coast.

Manusky has the 49ers defense playing pretty well. They make plays, but appear vulnerable against the pass. The Chiefs have not shown enough in the passing game this year to look like they can take advantage of these deficiencies. You would expect that the Chiefs will give the 49ers a heavy dose of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Matt Cassel looked like he was getting some rhythm in the passing game in the second half against Cleveland last week. I expect the Chiefs to work hard on their passing game today. Don’t be surprised if Cassel has a good day throwing the ball.

49ers Running Back Frank GoreOn offense, the 49ers have a good running back in Frank Gore, and an excellent tight end in Vernon Davis. The Chiefs are selling out against the run this year, which has left some big plays open against their secondary. Expect more of rookie safety Eric Berry up in the box in run support. The Chiefs have been gambling a lot to stop the run, and overall it’s working for them. They’ve given up a few big plays in the passing game, but not enough to kill them.

While this is a big game for the 49ers who need a win badly to get their season turned around, the Chiefs will be equally motivated today. They’re at home, and really want to develop a home field advantage again. They have a bye next week, and would love to start the season 3-0. After the bye the Chiefs are faced with two tough rough games against the Colts and the Texans — neither of which they’re likely to win.

The 49ers are faced with a tough task today. They’re 0-2, and on the road following a short week and a loss on Monday Night Football. I picked against the Chiefs last week because they were on the road after a short week. So I’m picking against the 49ers for the same reason. We’ll see today if Arrowhead Magic has returned to Kansas City. If the Chiefs give the fans anything to cheer about, the house should be a rockin’!

Prediction: Chiefs 20, 49ers 17

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