The Kansas City Chiefs are underdogs entering their Week 5 game in San Francisco against the 49ers. There are reasons for picking the Chiefs to lose, which is understandable. The 49ers aren't perfect however, so there are reasons to believe the Chiefs can pull of the win, too.
I talked with Fooch over at Niners Nation, SB Nation's 49ers blog, about the upcoming game and we decided to each give a reason why our team will lose. The Chiefs section below is written by me. The 49ers section is written by Fooch.
Why the Chiefs will lose (Arrowhead Pride)
If the Chiefs lose to the 49ers on Sunday it could be because they got behind early. The 49ers are playing at home and facing their former quarterback will be jacked up. It would not surprise me to see a fast start from San Francisco. If that happens, the Chiefs are in trouble. They are simply not equipped to play from behind for a couple of reasons. First, it takes away some of the value of their best player in Jamaal Charles, who won't be running the ball as much when the Chiefs are behind. It's also trouble for the Chiefs because they do not have the receivers to consistently stretch the field if they're trying to score quickly. Donnie Avery is out this game, replaced by AJ Jenkins, and 49ers fans know Jenkins is not going to be a threat down the field. If the Chiefs get behind by more than one score in this game, they're in trouble.
If the Chiefs lose to the 49ers on Sunday it could be because Colin Kaepernick gets out of the pocket and picks on the Chiefs cornerbacks. If the pass rush doesn't get there in time, or if Kap escapes the pocket, the pressure will be on the Chiefs cornerbacks. Sean Smith has played well this season while Marcus Cooper has been picked on. Cooper injured his knee this week so it's possible he can't play. If he doesn't the Chiefs will be trotting out third round rookie Phillip Gaines, whose role this season has been mostly on special teams. If the Chiefs lose, it will be because Kap beat them over the top.
Why the 49ers will lose (Niners Nation)
The 49ers offense has been wildly inconsistent, and it comes down to a couple things. The first has been the offensive line play. They are solid in run blocking, but struggle mightily in pass protection. Given the dominance of the Chiefs pass rush, if the 49ers cannot keep them at bay, it could be a long day for Colin Kaepernick. The run game could still do big things, but if they cannot get at least a modest passing game going, it will be a long day.
The second thing we've seen in recent weeks is game management issues. The 49ers can win in spite of mistakes with the game clock, but the 49ers still keep shooting themselves in the foot. They blow timeouts and take ill-timed delay of game penalties. No delay of game is good, but taking it on 3rd and 3 is not going to help things. The 49ers overcame it last week, but at some point it will cost them a game.
The biggest concern for 49ers fans is the pass rush. The 49ers have actually gotten a little more pressure on the quarterback as each week has progressed. And 49ers fans know that getting pressure to Alex Smith will slow him down. However, if the 49ers struggle against the Chiefs pass protection, Smith could be dangerous. He won't beat them deep, but I could see him having a big game connecting with Travis Kelce.
As much as this is about improving the pass rush, the 49ers will also lose if they cannot find a way to slow down Kelce. Patrick Willis and Michael Wilhoite will split time with Kelce. It makes sense to potentially double Kelce given the Chiefs lack of receiving weapons after Bowe and Kelce (and Charles obviously), but I could see the 49ers playing him straight up and more or less daring Alex to beat them through the air. If Alex can beat them through the air, the Chiefs could win.