Two playoff contenders will clash on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers play host to the Kansas City Chiefs. According to NFL odds, Kansas City is the third choice (+750) to win the Super Bowl while San Francisco is the fourth (+1400). Both teams appeared in their respective conference championship games last season, falling just short of a Super Bowl appearance. Through six games, the Chiefs (4-2) and 49ers (3-3) look the part once again.
Chiefs Need Balance
As long as quarterback Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid are in town, the Kansas City Chiefs will remain contenders. The offense is rolling, averaging 29.8 points (first) and 382.3 yards per game (fifth). While the Chiefs are one of three top-tier teams in the NFL, some concerns have come to light.
The run game has been inconsistent, creating an imbalance. In last week’s 24-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City averaged only 3.8 yards per carry. The unit had 40 pass attempts compared to 18 rushes in Week 6, and 43 passes versus 23 run attempts in Week 5. Early in the season, it looked like Kansas City would utilize the run more often, so much for that. Without a doubt, the Chiefs’ offense will be successful no matter what, but the run game becomes a key factor in the postseason.
As usual, Kansas City’s defense is the main concern. The secondary has played poorly, ranking 30th in opponent completion percentage. Injuries are part of the reason as cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Rashad Fenton have been absent. Both could be back this week along with linebacker Willie Gay, who got off to a great start and returns after serving a four-game suspension.
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) October 18, 2022
49ers Hope for Reinforcements
Despite numerous injuries, the San Francisco 49ers kept winning … until last week. Key absences finally caught up in Week 6 as the 49ers fell to the Atlanta Falcons 28-14. Two of the top players on the 49ers’ roster, left tackle Trent Williams and defensive end Nick Bosa, could return against the Chiefs. In addition, starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey and cornerback Charvarius Ward have a decent chance of playing. Unfortunately, injuries keep stacking up as starting safety Talanoa Hufanga, who was enjoying a breakout season, entered the concussion protocol.
Ultimately, returning Williams and/or Bosa will be vital. If the 49ers deploy another skeleton crew, defeating the Chiefs will be a near-impossible task.
San Francisco made a huge trade on Thursday night, acquiring running back Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers for a bunch of draft picks. It provides the 49ers with a true No. 1 running back, although it is unclear if McCaffrey will play on Sunday.
Regardless of McCaffrey’s role and the injuries, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo must play better. He comes off perhaps his worst performance of the season with two interceptions and an 87 passer rating. Against Kansas City, the 49ers will have to make plays through the air. The Chiefs’ run defense is stingy, allowing only 90.5 rushing yards per game (fourth).
Chiefs vs 49ers Game Injuries
Chiefs vs 49ers Head-to-Head
Since coach Kyle Shanahan was hired in 2017, the 49ers have yet to beat the Chiefs. Kansas City’s Reid is 2-0 against Shanahan, including the 31-20 win in Super Bowl LIV.
Chiefs vs 49ers Game Information
- Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
- Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
- How to watch Chiefs vs 49ers? ESPN
Chiefs vs 49ers Live stream: NFL Game Pass
Chiefs vs 49ers Betting Lines
Chiefs vs 49ers Prediction
This will be the 49ers’ first shot at redemption after losing Super Bowl LIV to the Chiefs. Like the last matchup, San Francisco does not have enough to come out on top, especially with an injury-riddled roster. Kansas City’s secondary has been a big weakness, but is Garoppolo good enough to carry San Francisco? Probably not. Moreover, the Atlanta Falcons ran for 168 yards against the 49ers in Week 6, giving Kansas City the opportunity to establish the run. Ultimately, Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense will be too much.
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”
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