After one of those errantly annoying morale victories against the Saints on Monday Night Football in Week 2, the 49ers pack up shop and head to the oppressive environment of Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs for their Week 3 matchup on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. pacific.
As mentioned, the 49ers suffered a tough loss against the Saints, outplaying them for most of the game except for turnover ratio, which did them in. The Niners didn't create one turnover, and decided they didn't mind giving it up more than a few times. They'll have their hands full with the Chiefs and their young and hungry defense.
Said defense is part of the reason they're currently 2-0, a contrast to the 49ers' shaky 0-2 start, though don't be surprised if the 49ers enter the matchup as a favorite, but it's far from a gimme game. Before the season began, you could have penciled this game in as a 49ers win. But now, it's decidedly closer.
The 49ers are expecting some players back, namely G Chilo Rachal, WR Kyle Williams on punt return duties, CB Will James for secondary depth and maybe WR Ted Ginn Jr. back for kick return duties. On the latter, if he's not ready to go (which is the more likely scenario), you'll likely see more of TE Delanie Walker back there returning the kicks, which he did a good job with on Monday against the Saints.
You can expect a full breakdown later in the week, but look for the 49ers offense to face a tough challenge in the Chiefs defense, and keep an eye on the Niners and their special teams coverage units facing off against return men Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas.
Crowd noise will be a factor here, as we saw against the Saints, the offensive line did what they were supposed to do, and all was well. The crowd noise was minimal in that game. Against the Seahawks though ... not so much. You can expect Arrowhead to be just as loud in Week 3 as Qwest was in Week 1.