No. 2: Force Turnovers
In Week 1 versus the Minnesota Vikings, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tossed three interceptions and the Niners lost four turnovers. In Week 2, Garoppolo nearly tossed a game-losing interception late against the Detroit Lions, which was called back because of a defensive holding call.
Kansas City needs only to force a turnover, or two, in order to win in Week 3. With the 49ers offense yet to fully jell this season with Garoppolo, the threat of explosive plays down the field isn’t really there.
The 49ers will likely try to control the time of possession, which means there should be more opportunities to force turnovers. Forcing just one or two would put San Francisco at a major disadvantage, putting the Chiefs’ explosive offense into a position where it will have a short field and can take advantage of a questionable Niners defense.
Garoppolo took chances in Week 1 but was more conservative in Week 2, and this is a reason why he might revert back to a more aggressive approach on the road in Kansas City.
Look for edge rusher Justin Houston to be a big X-factor in this contest, putting pressure on Garoppolo and possibly forcing a turnover within the pocket or an early throw that leads to an interception.
Tight windows to throw in and the pressure to match Kansas City’s offense could lead to San Francisco turnovers.