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Chiefs vs. 49ers: Keys To The Game Include Shutting Down Frank Gore

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SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20 2010 in San Francisco California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20: Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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We're shifting our focus to the San Francisco 49ers as they prepare to come to town on Sunday to play the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers offense is a lot like the Chiefs: Not great. They've got a quarterback like the Chiefs that has more question marks than answers but they've also got a strong running game like the Chiefs. The Chiefs' opponents probably look at them and say 'Shut down the run game and make Matt Cassel beat us.'

So that's what the Chiefs should be saying about the 49ers: Shut down the run game and make Alex Smith beat us.

Easier said than done. The 49ers run game includes fantasy football superstar Frank Gore. David Fucillo of Niners Nation recently told me that "as goes Frank Gore, so go the 49ers."

When the 49ers have a strong running game going, Alex Smith looks a lot more poised and confident," Fucillo writes. "If the Chiefs can shut down Gore, they have a much better chance of rattling Smith. And Gore has proven to be a boom/bust type of player. He'll rush for 150 yards and two touchdowns one week, and then be held to 37 yards the next week with no apparent explanation."

The good news: These aren't your 2009 Chiefs.

Through two games in the 2010 NFL season, the Chiefs' run defense is ninth in the NFL.