Defense Suffocates Smith, Niners Offense

KANSAS CITY, MO - Words can't fully describe how impressive the Chiefs' defense was in their 31-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Entering Sunday's game, there was plenty of talk about the Niners' top-five defense, but little attention given to Kansas City's own squad.

But with help from Brandon Flowers and Tamba Hali, the Chiefs' defense silenced the talkative Niners to stay undefeated and on they remain atop of the AFC West.

Tamba Hali tallied three quarterback sacks and could very well have gotten a fourth had 49ers quarterback Alex Smith not intentionally grounded a ball in the third quarter. Hali got at Smith one last time late in the game and caused a fumble, but San Francisco recovered it and tried to save whatever dignity they had left. Hali's three sack game on Sunday tied his career best.

All day, Smith was getting chased around like an escaped convict by the Chiefs' front seven. Defensive linemen Shaun Smith and Glenn Dorsey were doing most of the dirty work in breaking through the Niners' offensive line, making Smith a marked target. Ron Edwards broke from the ordinary, got the best of Smith, and planted him deep in San Francisco's territory for his first sack since 2008.

The next couple plays after that, Brandon Flowers was tipping passes left and right and making it look too easy against the Niners' receivers. By then, the Chiefs just about had a full two-handed grasp on the Niners' throats.

Linebacker Tamba Hali had three sacks on the afternoon while his teammate defensive end Shaun Smith was stellar against the run.
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Flowers had another day at the office in grabbing an interception while on his back. The interception would lead to Kansas City striking first on a touchdown just about a minute later when Dexter McCluster leaped into the end zone on a pass from Matt Cassel. Just as it happened last week, an interception from Flowers was essential to the Chiefs taking a lead and never letting go of it. Flowers tipped a pass right in front of the end zone which he very well could have jumped in front of an had his second pick of the game.

The only real struggle the Chiefs showed all day was against the Niners' top passing threat, tight end Vernon Davis. Safety Jon McGraw had a tough time trying to contain the Pro Bowler, and thankfully Davis only saw three passes come his way.

There were plenty of holes yet again in the secondary, but since Alex Smith was getting pressured on almost every play, there weren't many opportunities for him to get it down the field. Many Chiefs defenders either couldn't get a hold of some Niners runners and receivers, or were too busy letting go of the grips they already had.

It was the Chiefs' run defense that was once again standing tall for majority of the game. Throughout most of the game, Niners running back Frank Gore was held to only 43 yards on 15 carries. The longest run that the Pro Bowler registered was for only 6 yards.

Fans at Arrowhead Stadium were loving the Chiefs new look defense on Sunday against the 49ers.
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Only within the last ten seconds did the Chiefs let Gore hit the 100-yard mark in receiving. The 41-yard reception was pretty much meaningless since the Chiefs were gathering up their things in order to head to the locker room. Gore's scramble set up San Francisco's lone touchdown of the game at the final second, but still didn't erase the embarrassment which the Niners' offense experienced all day.

Once again, the Chiefs' defense shut their opponent up and put a stamp on a strong victory. We might never know what Niners head coach Mike Singletary will say to Vernon Davis now that Davis' guarantee of victory fell flat, but surely we know that Todd Haley is smiling with his 3-0 Chiefs heading into the bye week.

In a couple of weeks when the Chiefs travel to Indianapolis, this solid defense might not be able to harass Peyton Manning as they did with Alex Smith, but they sure will give the Colts' offensive coaches a run for their money.

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