The San Francisco 49ers are set to face the Kansas City Chiefs back home at Levi's® Stadium. The 49ers have won each of the last two matchups on their home field this season and will look to maintain a winning home record against the Chiefs for the Week 7 matchup.
For this week's Four Downs, 49ers team reporter Lindsey Pallares and 49ers Spanish insider Jesús Zárate have joined me to break down several storylines ahead of the team's Week 7 contest against Kansas City. We also answer questions directly from the Faithful exclusive for the 49ers Supporters Club. To get your questions answered, sign up for the 49ers Supporters Club here.
1st Down: Takeaways from the 49ers Contest vs. Falcons
@LindseyLares: Strong offensive line
My big takeaway from the 49ers Week 6 game was that the offensive line has quickly gelled despite having to shift a few times over the last several weeks. Trent Williams, Colton McKivitz and Daniel Brunskill have or are currently missing time due to injuries, and then against Atlanta, Mike McGlinchey was also sidelined for the second half—and the line still didn't give up a sack to the Falcons. Blake Hance, Daniel Brunskill and Jaylon Moore have done a good job taking over as the group works through their injuries, and the line as a whole has been improving week to week.
The biggest takeaways from the 49ers game against the Falcons are the good performances that Aiyuk and Kittle had. Aiyuk registered eight receptions for 83 yards and two touchdown catches. Kittle did not score but he also caught eight passes for 83 yards. He becomes the ninth all-time receptions leader in franchise history with 354. It is great to see both Aiyuk and Kittle get into a nice rhythm offensively.
@BriMcDonaldTV: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Although the game resulted in a loss, Garoppolo had a nice outing. Completing 29-of-41 attempts for 296 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6, Garoppolo is now ranked seventh all-time in passing yards and passing touchdowns in franchise history. So far this season, Garoppolo has recorded a 94.8 quarterback ranking.
2nd Down: Biggest Story Heading into the Week 7 Game
@LindseyLares: Super Bowl rematch
It's hard not to think back to Super Bowl LIV when you consider the opponent headed to Levi's® Stadium this weekend. The 49ers haven't played the Chiefs since February 2020, so there's definitely a little something extra to this game. When you look at the 49ers roster from that 2019 team, there has been a bit of turnover, as is the case on every team, but a lot of players from that group are still with the organization—over 20. And, if we wanted to add another layer to this game, the 49ers are looking to bounce back after a loss to Atlanta, so what better way to do that than against a team they met in the Super Bowl three seasons ago.
@JesusZarate87: National Tight Ends Day
The biggest story heading into Week 7 against the Chiefs has to be the opportunity to watch the best tight ends in the business face each other. Kittle vs. Travis Kelce on National Tight Ends Day is something you do not want to miss. Garoppolo came up with National Tight Ends Day in Week 2 of 2018 when former 49ers tight end Garrett Celek scored against the Detroit Lions. Kittle obviously loved it and from that point on it has become an annual celebration in the NFL.
In a news-breaking move late Thursday night, the 49ers traded for the former Carolina Panthers running back. Friday morning, he hopped on a plane headed to California and jumped straight into the team's final practice of the week. The question that everyone is asking is if the star running back is going to play in Sunday's contest. With such a short turnaround, it is unknown if the RB will be up to speed with San Francisco's playbook, however, head coach Kyle Shanahan did not rule out the possibility.
3rd Down: Key to Success vs. Kansas City
@LindseyLares: Team health
The 49ers key to success against the Chiefs involves a few things, but I think health, particularly that of the defense, is going to be key. The 49ers were without seven of their defensive starters from the get-go in Atlanta and later had Charvarius Ward ruled out with a groin injury. If San Francisco can get even a few of its injured players back, that will bring some stability to positions that were shuffling players in and out last week. On the other side of the ball, getting Trent Williams back would be huge for the offensive line that has been hit by the injury bug at tackle.
@JesusZarate87: Finding success in the red zone
San Francisco needs to have long drives that finish with a touchdown. That way they will keep Kansas City's explosive offense off the field and control time of possession. If they are able to do it, the 49ers will have a big chance of being successful.
@BriMcDonaldTV: Racking up YAC
There is an interesting matchup in Sunday's contest that the 49ers could capitalize on. According to FOX Sports, the Chiefs are tied for the NFL lead in missed tackles (39), meanwhile, the 49ers lead the league in yards after the catch (averaging eight YAC so far this season). If San Francisco's offensive weapons can keep up their physical play style, breaking tackles and pushing downfield after the catch, I believe the 49ers will find success against the Chiefs.
4th Down: What is Your Bold Prediction for the Week 7 Matchup Against the Chiefs?
@LindseyLares: I expect to see a game-winning drive from the 49ers to lock up the win at home.
@JesusZarate87: My bold prediction is that the 49ers will have a great day on the ground vs. the Chiefs, rushing for at least 150 total yards.
@BriMcDonaldTV: Kittle will score more touchdowns than Kelce on #NationalTightEndsDay.