NFL Week 3 Game Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers

James Adkins@KCChiefsBlitzCorrespondent IISeptember 24, 2010

The Chiefs running game will once again be crucial to control the clock against the 49ers on Sunday
The Chiefs running game will once again be crucial to control the clock against the 49ers on SundayMatt Sullivan/Getty Images

Heading into this Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) and the San Francisco 49ers (0-2), the Las Vegas oddsmakers don’t appear to be paying attention to the current records, as San Francisco remains a 2 ½ point favorite.

The Chiefs head into Sunday’s game looking for their second straight win at home, and an opportunity to head into their bye week sitting atop the division at 3-0.

By contrast, the 49ers are looking at Sunday’ game as a must-win game. They entered the season with high expectations, with many experts picking them to twin the NFC west.

When the Chiefs have the ball

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel is completing just 52% of his passes through the first two games for 4.9 yards per pass. Rookie tight end Tony Moeaki has been Cassel’s best target thus far, catching eight passes thus far for 79 yards.

Look for the Chiefs to continue to pound the football with their two-headed running game that is Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. It will also be important for coach Haley to get the ball into the hands of Charles, arguably the best player on the team, yet he’s only been a “part-time” player thus far behind Jones.

When the 49ers have the ball

The 49ers keys to success are very much like those of the Chiefs… limit turnovers, pound the ball on the ground, and make short ball-control passes to move the football down the field.

Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will likely employ a similar strategy for stopping the 49ers offense as he had when the Chiefs beat the Chargers in week one. Their first priority will be to stop running back Frank Gore, with their next priority being to shut down tight end Vernon Davis in the passing game.

Score Prediction

The Chiefs will be looking to get to 3-0 for the first time since 2003, and if the defense can keep Gore and Davis in check on Sunday, they’ll do just that.

Chiefs 19

San Francisco 14