Alex Smith will get the pleasure of facing his old coach, team, and the man who replaced him in Colin Kaepernick. Surely, this is just another game for Smith, right? This contest also marks the first time Andy Reid will be in Arrowhead Stadium as the new leader of the Chiefs, albeit in a preseason affair.
After watching Kansas City lose to the New Orleans Saints last week -- but look like world-beaters when the starters were in -- this game packs plenty of intrigue. Let's glance at five topics to watch on Friday:
How do the Chiefs adjust if things don't go their way immediately? Only playing one series on both sides of the ball, Andy Reid neither had to make adjustments or adjust to the changes made against him in last Friday's game against the New Orleans Saints. With the starters likely to play close to if not the entire first half, Reid and the coordinators will be tested for the first time in 2013.
2. Knile Davis
With Jamaal Charles possibly out of the game with his strained right foot, backup running back Knile Davis is going to get a major opportunity. Against the 49ers defense which ranked fourth in run defense last year, he'll certainly have his work cut out for him. Davis needs to show he can be dependable by holding onto the football and catching passes. This is a big game for him.
3. Alex under pressure
In the Saints game, Smith never faced any pressure while throwing the ball. Although I believe the Chiefs line to be very good, it's not perfect. San Francisco will likely get more of a push and perhaps even blitz. I want to see how Smith plays with a defender coming in and a tight window to fit the ball into downfield.
4. Po' consistency
Dontari Poe looked like the best nose tackle alive in one series versus New Orleans. I want to see Poe display his ability again by being disruptive up the middle on pass plays and clogging the middle / chasing down backs on running plays. If Poe can be dominant, this defense will be brutal to deal with.
5. Smash mouth
The 49ers have been known as a very hard-hitting defense. I want to see Kansas City become a team in the same mold. When opponents see the Chiefs on the schedule, there needs to be a thought of "This is going to hurt." Guys like Eric Berry and Derrick Johnson need to set the tone early and create a mindset.