However, that’s easier said than done.
Let’s be clear — the loss to the Bills was heartbreaking for a Chiefs squad trying to once again cement itself as the No. 1 team in the AFC. But there’s more to Kansas City’s situation that could cause a lack of focus.
For starters, the 49ers are coming off of a 28-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in which Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota completed just 13 pass attempts, had 1 incompletion, and scored 3 total touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing). Meanwhile, San Francisco’s offense mustered just 2 touchdowns by way of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who also threw 2 interceptions and had a 36.2 quarterback rating for that game, per ESPN.
On top of that, Kansas City has its bye in Week 8, which means the team gets a couple of weeks of rest after their Week 7 game.
With all of this in mind — it wouldn’t be hard for Chiefs players to start thinking about their plans for the bye week. However, Patrick Mahomes has issued a warning to those said teammates, if they actually exist.
Mahomes Issues Warning to Teammates
Speaking to the media on October 19, Mahomes was asked if he worries about his teammates lacking focus towards the Chiefs-49ers game due to the Week 8 bye, or if the bye makes it easier to focus on the game.
“Yeah, guys better be focused,” Mahomes said. “After losing the game and then turning on the film and watching this opponent we’re about to play, guys better be locked in because (if) we don’t play our best football, we’re not going to win so guy’s will be locked in and ready to go.”
Earlier in the press conference, Mahomes gave his initial remarks on facing San Francisco after losing to Buffalo in Week 6.
“I think you just have to come to work,” Mahomes said. “We have a heck of a challenge this week against the 49ers. One of the best defenses in the league, so as an offense, we have to know that we’re about to take advantage of every day. We’ll have to practice great, watch film great, and so we can put ourselves in the best position to have some success on the field.”
Reality of Chiefs-49ers Matchup
There’s a reason why Mahomes spoke highly of the Kansas City’s Super Bowl LIV rivals prior to their regular season matchup. That’s because San Francisco’s Week 6 loss to the Falcons was an outlier in terms of how the team typically performs on both sides of the football.
Despite the Week 7 outing, the 49ers’ defense ranks No. 1 in the NFL in yards per game allowed (255.8) and No. 2 in points per game allowed (14.8) through 6 weeks of the regular season, per ESPN. So, more often than not, opposing offenses have struggled to put points on the board while facing San Francisco’s defense this season.
As for the 49ers’ offense, the unit typically lives and dies by the run game, as they run the ball on 47.2% of their offensive plays, which ranks No. 8 in the NFL, per The Football Database. Meanwhile, in Week 6 against the Falcons, San Francisco’s offense ran 41 pass plays and only 16 runs plays (39%), per ESPN.
So, when the Chiefs take the field against the 49ers in Week 7, the defending AFC champions will be facing a San Francisco squad that has a chip on its shoulder, mainly because the team strayed from their identity — both from a scheme and ability standpoint — during their most recent game.
That’s not something to look past if you’re the Chiefs.