Alex Smith on 49ers defense vs. Chiefs: 'They're going to be in for it'

According to Alex Smith, who suited up for both the Niners and Chiefs, the only way San Francisco can win in Super Bowl 58 is via a shootout, which doesn't bode well for the
Former 49ers and Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith
Former 49ers and Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

12-5. CBS. 49ers-Chiefs opening. 124. 6:30 p.m. ET. 42. Sunday, Feb. 11. 11-6. 49ers -1.5

Despite having one of the NFL's best defenses during the regular season, Alex Smith thinks the 49ers defense is in serious Super Bowl trouble versus the Chiefs.

The last time the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers met in the Super Bowl, it was the Niners defense under then-coordinator Robert Saleh that was tasked with carrying the offense.

For about three quarters of that game, it did. By the fourth quarter, though, San Francisco's defense was gassed, which led to quarterback Patrick Mahomes taking full advantage en route to KC's 31-20 victory in that game.

This season, the 49ers offense effectively has to carry the defense, although coordinator Steve Wilks' unit isn't exactly a pushover. During the regular season, the Niners boasted the NFL's No. 3-ranked scoring defense that contains superstars, Pro Bowlers and All-Pros at all three levels.

Paired with head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense that similarly boasts elite talent at almost every position, wouldn't it make sense for San Francisco to be at least a modest favorite against Mahomes and Co.?

Not so fast, especially according to one signal-caller who suited up for both teams.

Alex Smith thinks 49ers defense is in trouble vs. Chiefs in Super Bowl

Now-retired quarterback Alex Smith, who joined the 49ers as a No. 1 overall draft pick back in 2005 and eventually found himself traded to Kansas City in 2013, spent time as Mahomes' first pro-level mentor and also offered some insight into the Super Bowl rematch between these two squads.

Unfortunately for Shanahan, Wilks and the rest of the Niners, Smith doesn't feel as if San Francisco's defense has the edge here.

Appearing on The Adam Schefter Podcast with ESPN's Adam Schefter, Smith painted a dreary picture for the 49ers defense and the Niners overall in Super Bowl 58 against KC.

"This 49ers defense doesn't do a lot. They don't present a lot of volume," Smith explained. "They're going to be in for it."

The Niners have allowed 26 points per game this postseason, which is up significantly from the average of 18.4 during the regular season, a number that was third best.

Interestingly enough, the Chiefs' regular-season defense was second best in that same category by averaging 16.8 points allowed per contest. Over three playoff bouts, KC has allowed an average of 13.7 points per game under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

"The only chance I think the Niners have to win is in a little bit of a shootout, and again, this Chiefs defense continues to elevate their game," Smith added.

Super Bowl 58 kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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