Game Preview: Chiefs vs. 49ers from The Mothership
For the first time in his career,
Alex Smithreturns to a place he used to call home with a chance to prove all those that didn't believe in him wrong.
But the quarterback, ever humble, ever professional, of course, doesn't see it that way. As he stood at his locker this week surrounded by media hoping to hear about a hunger for revenge, what they heard instead couldn't compare.
To Smith, the trip to San Francisco is one of business, one in which leaving victorious is more prevalent than anything else.
Game Day Info: Chiefs vs. 49ers from The Mothership
The Chiefs won the first ever meeting between the clubs back in 1971 in San Francisco, but are 0-4 on the road since that period. Kansas City is 4-2 as the home team against San Francisco.
The Chiefs have won four of their last six games against the 49ers. The Chiefs average margin of victory in their last three victories over San Francisco is 32.3 points. Dating back to 1985, the home team has won the last eight matchups in this series.
KCChiefs.com Photo Gallery: Loading The Plane
KCChiefs.com Video: Preview: Chiefs vs. 49ers
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Arrive in San Francisco
KCChiefs.com Video: Playbook: Chiefs vs. 49ers
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Kingdom Sings the National Anthem
KCChiefs.com Video: Bigger Game: Smith or Kaepernick?
KCChiefs.com Video: Is Alex Smith Playing Better than Colin Kaepernick?
Hayes Post Audio: Holthus Hotline with the "Voice of the Chiefs" Mitch Holthus
Game Day Forecast from The National Weather Service
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming north northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Check out this Facebook video the Chiefs shared detailing just how much the Royals' first October since 1985 has meant to the city, the fans and even KC's NFL franchise:
Kansas City abuzz with excitement from ESPN
Oh, don't worry about that. Kansas City has been very excited this week.
"The atmosphere at the wild-card game was just like it was Monday night for the Chiefs game across the parking lot,'' Brett said. "And just like it will be at NASCAR [at Kansas Speedway] this weekend. And just like it will be this weekend at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, where 100,000 people will be down there partying and eating ribs from 800 different teams. It's been a big week in Kansas City. Chiefs, Royals, American world barbecue, NASCAR.
"The mayor of Kansas City is a very happy man right now.''
It's Time for Fan to Go Home Again, to Revel in Royals from The New York Times
I hadn't been remiss; the Royals had. In the time that it took for them to return to the postseason - an occasion they marked with a thrilling, 9-8 comeback victory over the Oakland A's in the American League wild-card game last Tuesday - I had moved from Dallas to Charlotte to Atlanta, and then back to Dallas, before heading to New York. I had worked for three news organizations and, for a spell, none at all.
Now I had a wife, Mary, who tolerated my allegiance to the Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs, and a son, Jack, 9, who had not only made the Royals his own but reassured me that I was attending to his moral compass when he insisted I give our two tickets to Derek Jeter's final game in the Bronx to friends who would appreciate them. Meanwhile, we stayed home and watched the Royals.
San Francisco 49ers up against a familiar face: the Kansas City Chiefs' Alex Smith from The San Jose Mercury News
Neither the Chiefs nor 49ers are off to great starts. Both sit in third place in divisions showcasing last season's Super Bowl entrants. The odds are stacked against them returning to the playoffs: only 36.8 percent of teams that started 2-2 or worse have made the postseason since 1990.
But both the 49ers and Chiefs are coming off reassuring wins: The Chiefs routed the New England Patriots 41-14 Monday night, and the 49ers ended a two-game skid last Sunday in 26-21 fashion over the Philadelphia Eagles at Levi's Stadium.
Sunday's marquee storyline is obviously Smith v. Colin Kaepernick, nearly two years after coach Jim Harbaugh's daring move to keep Kaepernick in the starting role after Smith suffered a concussion.
NFL whip around: What we're watching in Week 5 from USA Today
What to expect: San Francisco beat the Eagles last week with its defense, and that unit will have a big challenge again this week against a Chiefs offense that suddenly looks like it has more weapons than just running back Jamaal Charles. Backup running back Knile Davis gives the Chiefs a solid tandem of versatile inside-outside runners, while tight end Travis Kelce has been a revelation. Those three players will certainly help Smith's cause on Sunday. Kaepernick, meanwhile, must continue to rely on Frank Gore, who powered the Niners' offense last week.
Kawakami: Kaepernick, Alex Smith and the battle since 2012 from The Contra Costa Times
Kaepernick was the bolt of lightning streaking through the 49ers sky, a quarterback phenomenon who could only get better.
Smith was the steady, clear-eyed, middle-career technician who would only stay the same.And Jim Harbaugh understandably decided to ride the lightning as far as Kaepernick could take the 49ers...
...But what's remarkable isn't how far these two quarterbacks have diverged since then, it's how fundamentally similar their results have been as NFL starters -- then, now and into the foreseeable future, really.
Seems anyone can be an NFL running back these days from The Associated Press via The Merced Sun-Star
Even teams that still have a clear-cut star, such as the Chiefs, have plenty of other options. So when Charles went down with a high ankle sprain that caused their star to miss a start in Miami, coach Andy Reid felt comfortable in Davis, Joe McKnight and Cyrus Gray to pick up the slack.
Davis ran for 132 yards against the Dolphins. McKnight had two touchdowns.
"You have to tip your hat to guys who can do the job," Reid said. "Any time you're a relief pitcher and whatever position it is in this league, that's a tough assignment."
Oregon Ducks in the NFL: Byrd Lost for Season, DAT Set to Make Debut vs 49ers from The Eugene Daily News
Several reports have the former Oregon Ducks Running Back set to take the field as a kickoff returner, but other say he could be on offense as a Wide Receiver. The official injury report lists Thomas a probable. I would expect to see Thomas as a return man for his regular season debut.
Last-minute fantasy football tips for Week 5 from The Indianapolis Star
Further confirmation the Kansas City Chiefs are committed to running the ball.
Since recording a 35:17 pass-to-run ratio in a Week 1 home loss to Tennessee, Kansas City has posted 42:31, 25:41 and 26:38 pass-to-run ratios over the next three weeks - the last two of which were blowout victories. While many of the rushing attempts in last week's rout of New England came after the contest was well in hand, a three-game trend of 30-plus rushes should be encouraging to Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis owners. With that number of carries on a weekly basis, Charles can get his full complement of touches and Davis can be a weekly flex option.
Bob McManaman's NFL Week 5 predictions from AZCentral
Line: 49ers by 5½.
Mac says: 49ers 27, Chiefs 17. San Francisco has beaten itself with too many mistakes, but the 49ers have too much talent to stay down for long. Kaepernick should have a huge day.
Tomlin's crew will rebound vs. Jaguars from NY Post
49ERS (-6) over Chiefs: Alex Smith returns to the bay area. Coach Jim Harbaugh made most of Smith's talents during earlier Niners association. It's impossible to believe Kansas City will maintain Monday night's levels of intensity, and Harbaugh's knowledge of Smith's capabilities is likely to make for a long afternoon for Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
Walden's NFL Four Downs: Keep things simple, or you might regret it from The Salt Lake Tribune
Chiefs at 49ers, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 2 " Remember when San Francisco had a quarterback who'd achieved some success with the team, only to be deemed expendable when some prototypical young gun with a strong arm and the ability to impact the game as a viable running threat came along? So oldwhat'shisface gets shipped off to Kansas City, while the Niners get a Super Bowl trip out with Mr. Newguy. Which all sounds fine and well, except for the subsequent lingering, unshakeable feeling that maybe the powers-that-be made a mistake in getting rid of the vet - a feeling that all the bells and whistles the newbie has just never will be quite the same as the calm, quiet, steady presence the old guy brought to the table. And it certainly doesn't hurt that the old guy proved he had plenty left in the tank by leading the Chiefs to a playoff berth. Anyway ... don't know why Joe Montana just popped in my head. There must be some kind of modern parallel.
Bob Glauber's NFL quarter-season awards from Newsday
Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick? The 49ers chose Kaepernick as their quarterback of the future in 2012, dealing former first-rounder Alex Smith to the Chiefs in 2013 for two second-round picks. Looks like both teams - and both quarterbacks - benefited from the move. Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship Game last year, while Smith helped Kansas City get to the playoffs in 2013 after the team bottomed out at 2-14 the year before. The two will play one another for the first time on Sunday, as the Chiefs visit the 49ers in a huge game for both 2-2 teams. Both quarterbacks are off to good starts, with Smith featuring a 94.2 rating and Kaepernick at 91.2.
By any reckoning, the image and reputation of America's favorite sport has had an autumn more brutal than a blindsided sack by a 290-pound defensive lineman. It started with a horrific drumbeat of stories about domestic violence and child abuse, and continued last week, with the news Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was suffering from the same pervasive brain damage linked to a number of former NFL players when he killed his girlfriend, and himself, in 2012.
More tragic still, three high school players died in a four-day span last week, most recently Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old junior for Shoreham-Wading River HS on Long Island - a death that came a month after Miles Kirkland, a junior at Staten Island's Curtis High School, succumbed on the preseason practice field. Stack tragedy on top of an ever-growing concern about concussions and brain trauma in youth sports across the board - and you have the makings of a situation that is beginning to look like the proverbial fourth-and-long.