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Kansas City Chiefs Matchup of the Week: Derrick Johnson vs. Frank Gore

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 28:  Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against Michael Huff #24 of the Oakland Raiders during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 28, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
James AdkinsCorrespondent IIMay 27, 2016

The Kansas City Chiefs defense was one of the worst in 2009 at stopping the run. Through two games this season, the Chiefs rank 9th in the NFL in rush defense, holding opponents to just 3.3 yards per rush and 91 yards per game.

On Sunday, the Chiefs' rush defense will face their toughest test yet when they face off against one of the league’s best young running backs in Frank Gore. Gore is shooting for his fifth straight 1,000-plus yard season, and is averaging 4.1 yards per carry through two games.

The Chiefs will need to stop Gore on Sunday, as the 49ers are 15-6 when Gore runs for 100 or more yards.

The player on the Chiefs defense who is vital in stopping Gore is linebacker Derrick Johnson.

Johnson, who’s responsible for communicating the play calls to his teammates in the huddle, is also leading the team with 19 tackles. He has been the lynch-pin of a defense that put a lid on Chargers’ rookie Ryan Mathews in week one and limited Cleveland’s Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis to just 68 yards last week.

Edge – Derrick Johnson

There is no better place in the NFL to play a home game when you’re winning than Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are 2-0 and the near capacity crowd should be in regular season form, supplying Johnson and his fellow Chiefs’ defenders with that much more motivation to get the job done against Gore on Sunday.

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