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For the third time in four weeks the Chiefs will face a top five defense.

The Chiefs will travel to the bay area to face the 49ers. This will be the first time these two teams will face off since the Chiefs’ super bowl win. Despite all of the injuries on the defense, the Chiefs will need to make sure they are playing their top game.   

The 49ers are able to get pressure on the quarterback. They have a total of 23 sacks on the year. They have 10 turnovers with an even breakdown of five

interceptions and five fumbles.

They have caught the injury bug within the last couple of weeks. They have had some of their star players be limited or did not even practice throughout the week. On the defensive side of the ball former Chiefs cornerback, Charvarius Ward did not practice with a groin injury, Nick Bosa missed some time also with a groin injury. Even if both of them play, a groin injury is a lot like a hamstring in the sense that it can flare up during backup throughout the week or even the game. 

Another defensive star missed practice time during the week. Arik Armstead, one of the better defensive tackles in the league has a foot injury. Defensive End Samson Ebukam missed time with a foot injury.   

George Karlaftis has done a great job getting off blocks and getting into the back field. His sack numbers don’t show that. This may be a great week to break out.

They also have injuries on the offensive line. Trent Williams is a top tier tackle and is needed for their elite run game. Pro Football Focus has George Karlaftis as number one among rookie defensive ends in pressure. With the 49er’s offensive line injuries this could be an opportunity for the rookie to get his first solo sack. 

There is no doubt that they have an elite-run game. Since their Super Bowl run they have averaged 4.4 yards per attempt in their rushing game.  Any offense that averages more than 3.5 yards per attempt across the entire offense is a top-tier rushing offense.  

The elephant in the room is what happened during Thursday night football. The 49ers traded for elite running back Cristian McCaffrey.

While McCaffrey has missed over twenty games over the last few years he is still a top player in his position. Over his career, McCaffrey has averaged 4.6 yards per attempt. Adding him to a team that has a reputation for taking mediocre running backs and allowing them to succeed should benefit an elite player to explode onto the scene. 

To the benefit of the Chiefs, they will get back one of their best rushing defender in Willie Gay. He has missed the last four weeks due to a suspension, arguably he is the Chiefs’ most athletic linebacker. He is capable of playing the traditional linebacker spot as well as defending running backs and tight ends in the passing games.

The biggest question behind Gay’s playing time is what defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said earlier in the week. He mentioned that Gay needed to knock off the rust. If Spagnuolo does not feel confident in his play the Chiefs may continue sending Darius Harris and Leo Chenal to play. 

The only player that did not practice on Thursday for the Chiefs was a defensive back, Rashad Fenton, with a hamstring injury. 



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