Free NFL Picks San Francisco at Kansas City 9-26-2010

September 24, 2010


San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs

September 26th 2010 1 PM EST

Line: San Francisco -3

The 49ers have underachieved, coming into this week at 0-2. The Chiefs have overachieved, coming in at 2-0.  The 49ers struggled against the Seahawks on the road at Qwest field. Although it is one of the tougher places to play in the NFL, Arrowhead is even more hostile. Not only is the atmosphere just as harsh as Qwest field, their competition is going to be stronger.

Match up: Chiefs Offense Vs. 49ers Defense

The Chiefs are a run first organization. The 49ers are a run stopping team, complete with a linebacker corps of sure, athletic tacklers. Chiefs running backs Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles have different talents that compliment each other. Charles is more of a quick hitter, Jones is more of a between the tackles runner. One back’s failure doesn’t necessarily doom the entire offense, as they bring different attributes to the table. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the 49ers rank 4th in overall defense. A good comparison to the Kansas City backfield is the New Orleans backfield. Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush combined for a weak 50 yards on the ground and Reggie Bush left on a cart with a broken leg. The 49er defense has the speed to handle Charles and the brute force to bring down Jones. The Saints beat the 49ers by going to the air. Drew Brees had 254 yards and a 108.9 quarterback rating. The Chiefs do not have the luxury of having the passing attack the Saints do. Matt Cassel struggled against the Browns last week, throwing two picks and no touchdowns. The 49er defensive backs are going to need to shut down Dwayne Bowe once they contain the run. The 49ers are one of the most physical defenses in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky seems confident that he will be able to retain whoever is getting the ball. The Chiefs have a tall task after struggling with the Browns defense last week, but the benefit of playing at home will provide motivation if their offense struggles.

Edge: 49ers Defense

Match up: 49ers Offense Vs Chiefs Defense

Alex Smith played well on Monday Night football last week. The last drive in particular, that ended with a game tying two point conversion stands out. Once the Saints had to respect the pass, Frank Gore ran wild. The offensive line looked physical and comfortable, not giving up a single sack all game. If Smith can utilize weapons Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, the Chiefs will have a difficult time controlling Frank Gore, who has produced 21 100+ yard rushing games in his career. Number 22 looks like it could happen on Sunday. The Chiefs are solid up front, and have talent at linebacker, but the secondary has been shaky thus far. An extra DB could be kept on the field to help out a young Eric Berry, who is struggling somewhat with his transition to the NFL. Tight end Vernon Davis should have a big day, as he creates mismatches with his size and speed combination.The 49ers have made it clear they like to run the ball and control the clock. If Frank Gore has a big day, they could jump on the Chiefs in a hurry.

Edge: 49ers

Match up: Special Teams

The 49ers lost the game last week on special teams. A muffed punt left the Saints with great field position and gave them the go ahead touchdown. Punt returners Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn Jr. are out with injuries and they are being sorely missed. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have been winning games on special teams. Dexter McCluster is a dynamic kick returner. He broke for a touchdown in his first career game and has game breaker potential. The 49ers may be best served punting out of bounds and relying on their defense. They don’t want to put faith in their special teams at the expense of the team.

Edge: Chiefs

Spread Analysis

The Chiefs have been underdogs in both of their games and they won outright. The 49ers covered last week and were blown out after being labeled the favorites in Seattle. I can’t see the Chiefs keeping this one close. If rookie offensive linemen Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati can handle the pressure of the crowd, this game could get out of hand. The Chiefs are due for a loss and the 49ers are bound for a victory.

Free NFL Pick: San Francisco -3

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