Coming into the season, I was not sure anyone would classify this match up between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers would be a very important and epic game (in my opinion). The 49ers come into the brand new, and undefeated New Arrowhead, with a winless record, but these are not your most recent 49ers.
San Fran had one of the most memorable games of this young season, coming up just short to the defending world champion New Orleans Saints. The Chiefs however, are undefeated going into the contest with a defense that has been their offense, Brandon Flowers taking an interception for a touchdown, the only one for the Chiefs last week.
If the Chiefs want to go 3-0 to start the young season, there are three key match ups that will need to be at the focal point of attention.
Battle of the Tight Ends
Now this may seem a little lopsided, due to Vernon Davis being a Pro Bowl tight end, but rookie Tony Moeaki is coming into veteran form in the young season. Both are the leading targets for both quarterbacks, and both lead the their team in receptions. Now Davis could be a big player in this game what with Eric Berry having trouble in pass coverage, but Moeaki could be the only option for Cassel, due to Cassel’s inability to look deep down the field for Dwayne Bowe or Chris Chambers. If one tight end can be held in check, then it seems that offense will not be able to flourish.
Alex Smith Consistency
If Alex Smith plays the way he played against the defending Champs, then the Chief defense will have a tall order ahead of him. However, that has been the downfall of Smith, inconsistent play makes it hard to get a proper read out on the kind of quarterback he is. Week 1 was a train wreck, week 2 a seasoned veteran leading his team, making a comeback against one of the top teams in the league. This will all be determined from what kind of pressure the Chiefs front three or four can get on him and if they can discombobulate the quarterback.
Chiefs Run Game
The Chiefs run game struggled a bit in the first half at Cleveland, but was able to get it going when it mattered in the second half. The 49ers dominated in time of possession and if the Chiefs are able to get Thomas Jones running early with Jamaal Charles continuing his 6.4 yards per carry then the Chiefs have a very good shot at going 3-0. The 49ers were able to corral Pierre Thomas for the most part, but the one-two punch of the Chiefs might be a tougher job.
The Chiefs look to win back to back home wins for the first time since the 2005-2006 season. It wont be easy because the 49ers are coming with something to prove and with Coach Mike Singletary at the helm, you they will do everything short of cheating to win this game. The Chiefs will look to show they are for real and ready to make the AFC West theirs in hopes that the KC fans will be starting what they left off in week 1 on Monday night.
About the Author
Written by Vince Sapienza
I am a sports enthusiast pursuing an undergraduate degree in Television Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Communication Studies with a deep passion and love for all that is sports.