This week Niner Noise teamed up with the Kansas City Chiefs blog ArrowheadAddict.com in a segment we call Inside the Enemy Camp. Patrick Allen answered my questions below. Check out my answers Inside the Enemy Camp: 49ers for the matchup in week 3.
1. The Chiefs offense had a hard time gaining yards against the Chargers in week one but the defense and special teams came up big to hold onto the win. Do you think the weather had a lot to do with stopping the Chargers offense or is the Chiefs defense just underrated?
I think it is a little of both. The weather certainly had an effect on Rivers but the Chiefs D has to be given some credit. It isn’t like Rivers and the Chargers offense didn’t move the ball. He threw for over 300 yards but the Chiefs kept coming up with stops. In fact, had it not been for a blown coverage by our rookie safety, the Chargers wouldn’t even have scored 14 points.
I’m not saying out D is shutdown by any stretch but they stopped Ryan Mathews, forced turnovers and sacked Rivers twice. I’d say they are average at this point but dangerous. If a team makes a mistake, this Chiefs D will capitalize.
2. The 49er Faithful envies the Chiefs kickoff and punt returners. Who do think will have the bigger year Dexter McCluster or Javier Arenas?
I think it will be Arenas. Both are extremely fast and elusive but Arenas has some of the best balance and vision I have ever seen. He not only can find a crease blow through it but he also has an uncanny ability to break tackles.
They will both do their share of damage but Arenas has a chance to be the best return man ever. He is that good.
3. The Chiefs have a two-headed running attack with Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles but their passing game is still waiting to take off. What are the Chiefs biggest issues they need to fix in the passing game?
It begins and ends with the QB and right now Cassel just isn’t getting it done. He is missing open receivers and forcing throws into coverage. He had a few nice throws against the Browns in the second half but other than that he doesn’t look as confident as he did last year when he had less protection and fewer weapons. If he can get going the Chiefs will be seriously dangerous to every team they play.
Until then, stopping the run and taking care of the ball is the way to beat the Chiefs.
4. There are five first-round draft picks starting on the Chiefs defense. One of those starters is this year’s number five pick in the draft Eric Berry. Do you think he has a chance to win Rookie Defensive Player of the Year?
I don’t want to count Berry out of the ROY race yet but he has to do better. Thus far he has been high risk, high reward for the Chiefs. He has made a big impact in the run defense but he has blown coverages on 3 of the 4 touchdowns given up by the Chiefs defense this year. These are rookie mistakes, however and are to be expected, especially in a player like Berry who has such a high motor.
Once he adjusts to the speed of the NFL receivers running at him and learns to sniff out a playfake, watch out. I think I can speak for most Chiefs fans by saying we don’t mind him making some mistakes this year and missing out on ROY if it means he is going to reach his full potential.
Right now he is 2nd on the team in tackles, though, so if he proves to be a quick learner ROY could still be in the cards.
5. Over or under for the number of dropped passes this season by wide receiver Dwayne Bowe: 5
Over. Bowe seems to be more focused this year but I think drops will always be a problem for him, especially considering the number of targets he is going to get in the receiver deficient Chiefs offense. The key for Bowe is to morph into a good enough receiver that his drops don’t sting as badly.
What is your prediction for the game?
For a while I was thinking the Chiefs might be in trouble here. The 49ers are a tough team and are desperate for a win. I think this will be a very close game but I thinkt he Chiefs will get it done on the strength of their special teams and the Arrowhead crowd.
I predict a low scoring, defensive battler with a few field goals.
I’ll go with the Chiefs 16, 49ers 13 in overtime.