SAN FRANCISCO (1-1) at KANSAS CITY (2-0)Sunday ,
1 p.m., ET, FoxOPENING LINE — Chiefs by 6 1/2RECORD VS SPREAD — San Francisco
0-2, Kansas City 2-0SERIES RECORD — 49ers lead 7-5LAST MEETING — 49ers beat
Chiefs 22-17, Oct. 5, 2014LAST WEEK — 49ers beat Lions 30-27; Chiefs beat
Steelers 42-37AP PRO32 RANKING — 49ers No. 20, Chiefs No. 449ERS OFFENSE —
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OVERALL (32), RUSH (T6), PASS (32)STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: Series dates to
1971, though teams have met just 12 times. ... 49ers RB Matt Breida leads NFL in
yards rushing (184) and yards per carry (8.4). ... San Francisco K Robbie Gould
has made franchise-record 29 consecutive FGs. ... 49ers DE DeForest Buckner has
3 1/2 sacks, second most in NFL. ... San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo has 2,038
yards passing in first seven starts, fourth most in NFL history. ... 49ers
settled for three FGs in five red-zone trips last week vs. Detroit. They have
three TDs on nine red-zone trips this season. ... San Francisco has surrendered
214 yards rushing through two games. ... Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has
NFL-record 10 TD passes through first two games. He has not thrown an INT. ...
Mahomes has won both AFC offensive player of the week awards this season. ...
Mahomes had six TD passes at Pittsburgh, making him youngest player in NFL
history to accomplish feat. ... Kansas City TE Travis Kelce has caught passes in
65 consecutive games, third best in franchise history. ... Chiefs have had three
different players with 100-yard receiving games this season: Kelce ,
Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill. ... Chiefs are allowing 430 yards passing and 508
yards total per game, last in NFL. ... Fantasy tip: Mahomes has been on tear and
it probably won't stop against San Francisco, which has yet to pick off
pass.It’s time for 49ers to consider some changes to their defensive line
rotation The San Francisco 49ers have made it pretty clear they are going to
rely on their defensive line to pressure the quarterback. They are near the
bottom of the league in blitzing, instead choosing to send their front four as
the primary pass rushers.Through two weeks, the 49ers rank No. 19 in adjusted
sack rate at Football Outsiders. From an individual perspective, DeForest
Buckner has been the most productive of the team’s pass rushing options. Arik
Armstead has a greater win rate inside (18.5 percent to 13.2 percent), but
Buckner’s volume coupled with having more decisive wins results in a higher pass
rush grade at Pro Football Focus.The group has work to do, but I suppose it’s
not nearly as awful as it could be. If the team looks at some adjustments, we
could see the group take a step forward. Most notably, second-year defensive
lineman Solomon Thomas deserves more time inside. He has done great work as a
run stopper on the edge. That is his strength, and thus far has been the role
that has generated the most success.However ,
in the few instances Thomas has been able to rush the passer from the interior,
he has found success. Thomas has played 71 snaps on the defensive line through
two weeks. Of that, 60 have been as either left or right edge rusher, and 11
have been what would qualify as the defensive interior, according to PFF. From
those 11 snaps, Thomas has rushed the passer on nine. PFF gives him a win rate
of 22.2 percent on those snaps. It is a small sample size, but it is higher than
that of Armstead and Buckner. Odds are he would not hold up that rate, but it
does show some measure of success inside.The 49ers have given DeForest Buckner
more work outside than in previous years. Last year, he was an edge defender on
two percent of snaps, according to PFF. In two games this season, that rate has
increased to 17 percent. The 49ers are not going to make a significant shift in
this direction Cheap
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, but getting Thomas inside more frequently
in passing situations seems like a good way to beef up the pass rush. You could
potentially have a line that includes Buckner, Thomas, Armstead, and Marsh, and
maximize the pass rushing talent.Thomas took a step forward in Week 2, offering
up a little more in both run and pass defense. He continues to do great work
getting a hand on ball carriers in the run game. He also finished the game with
four hurries, and looked solid rushing the passer from the inside. It has not
exactly looked like what you would expect from a third overall pick, but it also
seems like it has been enough to earn a bigger role. The 49ers defense faces a
huge test this weekend against the Chiefs, and it might be time to try some new
things to beef up the pass rush consistency.
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