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Chiefs vs. 49ers: Game and score predictions

What do Arrowhead Pride contributors — and our readers — think about Sunday’s game against San Francisco?

NFL: AUG 24 Preseason - 49ers at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Week 6, 60% of Arrowhead Pride’s contributors thought the Buffalo Bills would defeat the Kansas City Chiefs — and almost everyone figured the game would be close. So our aggregate prediction of a 36-33 Buffalo victory missed the 24-20 point spread by only a point — but since almost everyone also expected a shootout, we still came in with 26 points of error. Our readers were more confident in the Chiefs — 58% predicted a win — but only two in three thought the game would be close.

In Week 7, the Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers in California. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored by one point.

Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.

Price Carter (@priceacarter)

I don’t believe in NFL trap games — but if there ever was one, this is it. The Chiefs are a game away from their bye week and traveling all the way to the West Coast. The 49ers are getting several top-tier players back from injury — and are also coming off an embarrassing loss to Kyle Shanahan’s old team: the Atlanta Falcons. Add in the morale boost from acquiring Christian McCaffrey and San Francisco comes into this game with tons of motivation. The 49ers’ defense does many things with which the Kansas City defense struggles: generating pressure with three or four pass rushers and having strong, athletic linebackers to limit tight end Travis Kelce. If the Chiefs are going to win this game, their receivers — and Patrick Mahomes — are going to have to have a big day. If Kansas City can get to 24 points, I like their chances — but it’s not going to be easy.

Chiefs 27, 49ers 24

Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)

On their best days, these are my two favorite offenses to watch — yet they couldn't be any more different. And while it's been mentioned about a thousand times already this week, the 49ers have added a shiny new piece to their arsenal. Although I’m not too sure how much of a difference Christian McCaffrey will make in this game, San Francisco will be banking on him being the final infinity stone for a rushing offense that is already ludicrously fun to watch. Don’t be surprised to see these two teams face off again in February.

Chiefs 30, 49ers 27

Nate Christensen (@natech32)

This matchup was way more intriguing before the 49ers’ injury report was released. I love watching Demeco Ryans’ defense fly around the field, but they’re just too injured right now. While it appears Nick Bosa will be playing, the defense won’t be at peak form. Ryans will put out a good game plan — but at some point, the talent deficit will matter. The 49ers have (secretly) not been great on offense this year (19th in EPA). While Kyle Shanahan’s offense can attack Kansas City’s linebackers, quarterback Jimmy Garappolo is going to make mistakes. I believe the Chiefs are going to secure multiple interceptions — and jump to a lead that they will hold for the rest of the game.

Chiefs 30, 49ers 19

John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)

In San Francisco, the Chiefs will once again face a tough defense — but while pass rushers Nick Bosa and Samson Ebukam will both be (reasonably) healthy, cornerback Charvarius Ward and safety Talanoa Hufanga are questionable for the game. To me, this looks like another relatively low-scoring contest — but one in which Patrick Mahomes will have the edge. I’d be pretty worried about the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel — and I still am — but now that Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. will be back on the field, I feel less anxious.

Chiefs 27, 49ers 23

Maurice Elston (@recenickelz)

The Chiefs are coming off a 24-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills, where they left plenty of chances to win on the field. I expect them to clean up some of the mistakes they made, playing a pretty clean game in San Francisco. The 49ers come into the game a little banged-up, while the Chiefs are getting some significant defensive pieces back. I expect this game will start close — but midway through the second quarter, Kansas City will hit a stride that makes it look like the championship team it really is, blowing the game open on the way to a very convincing win.

Chiefs 41, 49ers 17

Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)

The Christian McCaffrey trade news adds a little more juice to the Chiefs-49ers matchup — as if it needed any more. Who knows how much of an impact he’ll really have? But he’ll certainly be a topic of conversation on the broadcast. A rematch of Super Bowl LIV pits a stingy defense against a dangerous offense. Does that sound familiar? 49ers defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans has earned a lot of praise in his young career, but matching wits with Andy Reid will be a measuring stick for the young coach. Lately, Patrick Mahomes has been building a good rapport with Juju Smith-Schuster, so hopefully that continues — along with Travis Kelce’s standard 100-yard game. The defense will have to stop the run-focused 49ers’ offense, forcing the game into Jimmy Garoppolo’s hands.

Chiefs 30, 49ers 21

Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)

The Chiefs are coming off a heartbreaking loss to their AFC rivals: the Bills. So I fully expect a focused team that will be ready to get back in the win column. It also helps that Willie Gay Jr. will be back to help bolster the defense. San Francisco is getting some guys back, but the team is still banged-up in key areas — especially in the secondary. While Nick Bosa is on track to play, I think Patrick Mahomes and the offense will be able to do enough through the air. Also: expect Jimmy Garoppolo to give Kansas City multiple opportunities for interceptions.

Chiefs 31, 49ers 17

Zach Gunter (@ZachGunter08)

This game is weird. The NFL is weird. There should not be this many bad teams. Yet here we are. San Francisco is coming off a very embarrassing loss to the Falcons. The Chiefs are coming off of a very close loss to the Bills. This game will be close — but defensive. I’m inclined to take the Under at 48.5.

Chiefs 24, 49ers 17

Conner Helm (@ArrowheadConner)

I believe this 49era team is arguably a top-5 team — especially with the addition of Christian McCaffrey. San Francisco has been dealing with a mess of injuries on defense and the offensive line, but we will likely have Nick Bosa, Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey back on the field. If the 49ers’ defensive line is healthy, Kansas City’s tackles will struggle to protect Mahomes like they did against the Bills. For the Chiefs, Trent McDuffie will sit out again, meaning that we will see another game with Joshua Williams as the third cornerback. This should be a hard-fought, defensive game — and I see the 49ers coming out with a win on the Bay.

49ers 27, Chiefs 20

Ashley Justice (@Justice_Paur88)

No question: the Chiefs will have their hands full with the 49ers. Between Deebo Samuel and recent addition Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco has more offensive options. On such short notice, McCaffrey shouldn’t be a game-changer, but will definitely be someone for whom the Chiefs will have to prepare. But in the end, I think Kansas City will come out on top.

Chiefs 37, 49ers 21

Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)

After playing one of the best defenses in the league last week, the Chiefs are tasked with overcoming another elite group. While the 49ers have the talent and scheme to give Kansas City’s offense fits, they are pretty banged-up right now. It will limit how much they can hold down the Chiefs’ offense — and that’s why I see Kansas City winning this game in a semi-comfortable manner.

Chiefs 27, 49ers 16

Aaron Ladd (aaronladd0)

In the NFL, there’s no column for moral victories — but the tone of both teams’ comments in the aftermath of the Week 6 Chiefs-Bills game is telling to me. In the meantime, Kansas City has housekeeping to attend to — and a trip to San Francisco before the bye week fits the requirements for a trap game. The 49ers’ defense is legit, allowing the league’s fewest yards per game (255.8). Patrick Mahomes and the offense must stay on schedule and limit San Francisco’s potent pass rush. I’m expecting another one-score game between these two foes.

Chiefs 27, 49ers 24

Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)

Jet Chip Wasp seems like a lifetime ago. Both of these teams are different than they were the last time they met in Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers attempted to move on from Jimmy Garropolo — but now they find themselves stuck with him, wading through a season of mediocrity. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are coming off a tough loss to one of the league’s best teams. This is a must-win game for both teams; with a loss, either team’s season could go off the rails. San Francisco will try to replicate the success the Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills found in the ground game against Kansas City by feeding the rock to all-world talent Deebo Samuel. But in the end, I don’t think the 49ers have the firepower to hang for all four quarters.

Chiefs 34, 49ers 24

Ricko Mendoza (@ricko_mendoza_)

With injuries to the 49ers’ defense and a projected point total of 49 points, this could be another week of high offensive output for the Chiefs. San Francisco has the playmakers to keep up with Kansas City — including running back Christian McCaffrey, for whom the team traded on Thursday night. When they are favored to win, the Chiefs’ usual game script has Patrick Mahomes and the offense putting up points at will, forcing their opponent to keep up. I expect this game will be no different. The San Francisco offense will be able to put up some points, but it won’t be able to outscore a Kansas City offense that should overwhelm the banged-up 49ers defense.

Chiefs 30, 49ers 21

Stan Nelson (@chiefsfanstan)

Six weeks into the season, the Chiefs are still trying to find an offensive identity without Tyreek Hill somewhere in the formation. The defense has gotten off to a faster start than in years past under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, but has suffered some setbacks with the loss of key players at every level. No matter what, it still comes down to game planning and execution — so which Kansas City team appears in San Francisco is anyone’s guess. But even though Patrick Mahomes has done some very un-Patrick-like things in recent weeks, I am still going with the Chiefs and their once-in-a-lifetime quarterback winning another down-to-the-wire game.

Chiefs 27, 49ers 22

Tom Ruprecht (@truprecht)

Well, my Lock of the Week is that Christian McCaffrey pulls a hamstring and will be on the shelf until Week 14. (Have fun on draft day, 49ers!) As far as the game, I really wish the Chiefs were playing San Francisco last week; a lot of the 49ers' big guns will be returning. Nick Bosa will cause problems — keeping it close — but the Chiefs will pull away.

Chiefs 27, 49ers 17

Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)

In Week 6, the 49ers were embarrassed by the Falcons. Head coach Kyle Shanahan will try to control the tempo and time of possession for the majority of the game. San Francisco might be banged up, but they still have a lot of weapons on offense to hurt the Chiefs’ secondary — which also has injury problems. The Kansas City offense does have the capability of going back and forth. Whichever team wins the time of possession and turnover battle will win this game. I think it will be the 49ers.

49ers 28, Chiefs 24

Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)

With Thursday’s trade for McCaffrey, the 49ers could not have made it any more clear that they are all-in on this season. However, I expect the Chiefs to respond to their Week 6 loss much as they did against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. Simply put, Patrick Mahomes will make more plays than Jimmy Garoppolo. The Chiefs will — at least temporarily — return to success in the deep passing game, thwarting Kyle Shanahan’s attempts to shorten the game with long, time-consuming drives. A late San Francisco touchdown will make the game look closer than it truly was.

Chiefs 31, 49ers 24

Nick Schwerdt (@nick_schwerdt)

I think this game is going to be tighter than you might expect. If you just looked at the 49ers’ box scores this season, you wouldn’t think it is a very impressive team. But their offense has a bunch of big, physical athletes — and even with a laundry list of injuries, they have one of the league’s most disciplined defenses. I think this one comes down to the Chiefs’ ability to consistently make open-field tackles. San Francisco likes to get their weapons in space and challenge defenders to make one-on-one tackles. If Kansas City can pass that test, I think it can bring home a win.

Chiefs 23, 49ers 17

Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)

With all the injuries they have had on that side of the ball this season, it’s honestly miraculous that the 49ers have continued their defensive success. This offseason, coordinator Demeco Ryans will be one of the league’s hottest head-coaching candidates. It looks like San Francisco will have Nick Bosa and Trent Williams back, which will be a huge boost on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, Kansas City will have Willie Gay Jr. back on the field. So this game comes down to which quarterback can make more plays against a talented opposing defense. The runaway choice is going to be Patrick Mahomes. I think the Chiefs bounce back, getting a reasonably hard-fought win to head into the bye at 5-2.

Chiefs 28, 49ers 21

Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)

This feels like another unpredictable Chiefs game, but we’ll try anyway. Even without a franchise quarterback, the 49ers have somehow remained a contender. They’ve built a strong defense — and an offense that can win in a unique fashion. Deebo Samuel (and newly-acquired Christian McCaffrey) can both be problems for a Kansas City defense that has lately struggled to tackle. But the Chiefs are also welcoming a very important defender back to the field: Willie Gay Jr. Expect both defenses to control much of the game. While most NFL games come down to the coach and quarterback, Kansas City’s coaching and quarterback play have been a bit up-and-down this season. If we see the good version of Andy Reid (with the creative playbook) along with the good version of Patrick Mahomes (who makes plays in clutch situations), the Chiefs could win this one easily. I think we see a performance closer to the Buccaneers game than the Bills game.

Chiefs 38, 49ers 24

Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)

How healthy — or unhealthy — will San Francisco be on Sunday? This week, they’ve had several injured players whose presence on the field could make the difference between winning and losing. In this battle of two great units — the Chiefs’ offense and the 49ers’ defense — Kansas City is likely to score 23-29 points. From there, it’s about who makes the one or two special plays on either the 49ers’ offense or the Chiefs’ defense that will give their team the win.

Chiefs 26, 49ers 20

Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)

Despite any kind of revenge factor that may play into San Francisco’s preparations for this Super Bowl rematch, I anticipate the Chiefs to rebound nicely from their loss against the Buffalo Bills. It would have been nice to have linebacker Willie Gay Jr. back against the Bills — but given the number of weapons Kyle Shanahan has at his disposal, I think Gay’s presence will be even more important in this game. So long as Kansas City can use extra blockers and chips to prevent Nick Bosa from wrecking the game, I like the team’s chances to win by two scores.

Chiefs 33, 49ers 24

Dakota Watson (@dwatson_56)

The 49ers’ record shows them right in the middle of the NFL’s parity-filled pack. I firmly believe, however, that it is one of the league’s most talented (and well-coached) teams; they’ve just had the worst luck with injuries. The return of Trent Williams and Nick Bosa should make the challenge for Kansas City’s opposing lines even greater. This will be no cakewalk into the bye week, but I think the Chiefs’ wide receiver corps will step up to help a struggling running game. Kansas City will enter the bye on a high note.

Chiefs 30, 49ers 23


Which team wins Chiefs (4-2) at 49ers (3-3)?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
    (105 votes)
  • 23%
    Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
    (107 votes)
  • 39%
    Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
    (182 votes)
  • 10%
    49ers in a close game
    (50 votes)
  • 2%
    49ers in an easy win
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    49ers in a blowout
    (2 votes)
458 votes total Vote Now

2022 Standings

TW LW Staffer W L Pct Err
1 4 Pete Sweeney 5 1 0.8333 21.7
2 5 Nate Christensen 5 1 0.8333 23.7
3 7 Aaron Ladd 5 1 0.8333 25.7
4 8 Dakota Watson 5 1 0.8333 28.0
5 9 Stephen Serda 5 1 0.8333 29.7
6 9 Rocky Magaña 5 1 0.8333 30.0
6 11 Mark Gunnels 5 1 0.8333 30.0
8 15 Ashley Justice 5 1 0.8333 33.3
9 15 Matt Stagner 5 1 0.8333 35.0
10 19 Kramer Sansone 4 2 0.6667 20.3
11 2 John Dixon 4 2 0.6667 23.0
12 3 Bryan Stewart 4 2 0.6667 23.3
13 1 Conner Helm 4 2 0.6667 23.7
14 20 Price Carter 4 2 0.6667 24.0
15 21 Jared Sapp 4 2 0.6667 26.3
16 11 Ricko Mendoza 4 2 0.6667 31.3
16 23 Nick Schwerdt 4 2 0.6667 31.3
18 14 Maurice Elston 4 2 0.6667 32.0
19 13 Talon Graff 4 2 0.6667 32.3
20 24 Tom Childs 4 2 0.6667 32.7
21 24 Tom Ruprecht 4 2 0.6667 33.7
22 17 Zach Gunter 4 2 0.6667 35.0
23 18 Stan Nelson 4 2 0.6667 35.7
24 22 Ron Kopp Jr. 3 3 0.5000 32.3

Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.

For the Bills game, Pete Sweeney turned in the best individual pick. His call for a 30-21 Buffalo victory had 12 points of error. Nate Christensen’s 31-23 prediction missed by just 14 points to take second place. Since the staff was so divided on this game, it was inevitable that there would be a big shakeup in the standings. Pete and Nate now hold the lead, with Aaron Ladd and Dakota Watson right behind.

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