The San Francisco 49ers (1-1) will head to Arrowhead Stadium to meet the Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) in Week 3 (September 23, 2018 at 1:00pm EST). The Chiefs opened as 6.5-point favorites.
San Francisco’s offense relies on their ability to run the ball. They score 23.0 points per game (17th), chiefly due to their third-ranked rushing attack. The 49ers churn out 140.0 rushing yards per game, led by Matt Breida.
The 49ers have been forced to rely on Breida and the others from the San Francisco backfield this season, as they have not been able to protect Jimmy Garoppolo. The pivot has just 467 yards through the air (24th) and 3 touchdowns (29th) with 3 interceptions, resulting in a 77.4 passer rating.
Meanwhile, Breida has rushed for a league-high 184 yards, adding one TD this season. The second-year back really took a hold of the 49ers backfield last week, tallying 138 of those rushing yards last week against the Lions.
But with a potential shootout looming in Week 3, San Francisco will need Garoppolo to step up and make some big throws.
Saying San Francisco’s defense prides themselves on stopping the run is a bit of an overstatement. They are better against the run than pass, but they’re not really good at stopping either method of attack. The 49ers are giving up 107.0 rushing yards per game (19th), and 278.0 passing (25th).
Unsurprisingly, the outcome is teams scoring 23.0 PPG against them, which is 17th in the league.
San Francisco’s defense will certainly be tested this week against a Kansas City offense that looks nearly unstoppable. The Chiefs are averaging 40.0 points per game (1st) thanks to their ability to beat you both on the ground and through the air. They rank 10th in rushing (116.5 yards per game) and ninth in passing (289.0 yards per game).
Patrick Mahomes has been phenomenal for Kansas City, accumulating 582 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s receiving great production from his pass-catchers, particularly Tyreek Hill (259 receiving yards), but has also benefited from being able to count on Kareem Hunt to carry the load when necessary.
Hunt has only rumbled for 124 yards and this season, but has been there when they need him and has served as a great check down for his QB.
The Chiefs defense, on the other hand, has not fared well this season. They’re surrendering a humiliating 32.5 points per game (29th), largely thanks to the 430 passing yards per game they give up (most in the league). Look for the 49ers to ask Jimmy G to attack early and often with his arm.