The Kansas City Chiefs surprised many around the NFL when they traded way up in the first round of this year’s draft to select Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs fans should get their first look at him Friday when K.C. hosts San Francisco to begin the NFL Preseason for both. The Chiefs head into this matchup as favorites in the NFL odds against the 49ers.
San Francisco at Kansas City Week 1 NFL Preseason Odds & Game Info
“Everybody has an opportunity to play in the first preseason game…” ~ Coach Reid
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 9, 2017
When: Friday, Aug. 11, 9 PM ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, KC
TV: NFL Network
Radio: KSAN 107.7 FM (San Francisco) / 101 The FOX (Kansas City)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Chiefs -4.5 (37.5)
Chiefs Depth Chart
The Chiefs don’t want Mahomes playing at all this regular season, just sit back and learn behind Alex Smith. But it’s rare a first-round QB doesn’t find the field at some point as a rookie.
On the team’s first depth chart, Mahomes is listed as the No. 3 behind Smith and Tyler Bray. It’s not a shock given the significant adjustment Mahomes is making from college spread to West Coast offense. The real question is whether Mahomes will pass off Bray by Week 1 or whether coach Andy Reid will be more comfortable having Bray as the game-day fallback to Smith.
Smith is entering his fifth season in Kansas City and coming off one of his best. He threw for a career-best 3,502 yards last season with 15 touchdowns and only eight picks, and his 67.1 completion percentage was also among the best of his career.
Regarding Mahomes II and his three-interception practice on Monday, Reid said he will accept the occasional training camp pick as long as it serves as a learning experience.
“It’s important quarterbacks use (practice) time to . . . see what you can get away with in the offense,” Reid said. “Interceptions, I get it. I want them to test the waters now so he gets to learn the parameters of this offense and what you can get away with on each route.”
Chiefs QBs Each Playing Quarter
According to Reid, Kansas City’s four QBs will play one quarter each Friday. That means Smith gets the first, Bray plays the second, Mahomes gets the third and Joel Stave finishes in the fourth. The starters on offense for the depth chart: quarterback Smith; running back Spencer Ware; wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Chris Conley; tight end Travis Kelce; fullback Anthony Sherman; and offensive linemen Eric Fisher, Bryan Witzmann, Mitch Morse, Laruent Duvernay-Tardiff and Mitchell Schwartz.
On defense: linemen Chris Jones, Bennie Logan and Allen Bailey; outside linebackers Justin Houston and Dee Ford; inside linebackers Derrick Johnson and Ramik Wilson; cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson; and safeties Eric Berry and Ron Parker.
While Kelce is a Pro Bowler, but he may not play Friday after missing some practices dealing with swelling in his knee, which was repaired via microfracture surgery in 2013.
49res Depth Chart
One interesting note from San Francisco’s first depth chart is linebacker Reuben Foster listed as a starter. Foster was considered a Top 10 talent in this year’s draft but slipped to the 31st overall pick because there was concern he’d miss this season if he needed shoulder surgery. Apparently he won’t.
Though a significant injury to 49ers’ linebacker Malcolm Smith created a pathway to the top of the depth chart for Foster, the new coaching staff has clearly been impressed by his improvement thus far in training camp. Foster was the second player drafted by the 49ers in 2017, as he went 28 selections after the 49ers took Stanford’s Solomon Thomas with the third overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.
As a matter of fact, Thomas is currently listed as a second team defensive end behind starter Tank Carradine. Losing Smith for the season is a big blow for a defense that was leaning on his expertise of coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. Saleh said Smith was playing “unbelievable” before the injury and his absence creates an opening for a job that was supposed to have a heated competition.
Hoyer Holding Onto No. 1 QB Job
At quarterback, Brian Hoyer is listed as the starter followed by Matt Barkley, C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens. In fact, Beathard and Barkley have been splitting the repetitions with the second team. At 31, Hoyer has been the very definition of an NFL journeyman despite various (albeit short) spurts of success and stops in New England, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Cleveland, Houston and Chicago.
In fact, one of Hoyer’s best stints as a starter came in Cleveland where new Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was his offensive coordinator. Hoyer threw for 3,326 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 starts, though his play tailed off after a strong start.
Another notable player on the depth chart is wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who is listed opposite Pierre Garcon as a starting wide receiver after kicking off camp with a strong start.
A year ago, the 49ers opened as a 3-point favorite against the Houston Texans in the first preseason game. With Colin Kaepernick sidelined due to shoulder soreness, Blaine Gabbert got the start, followed by Thad Lewis and Jeff Driskel. The Texans went on to win 24-13.
NFL Preseason Betting Trends
- 49ers are 5-12- 1 ATS in their last 18 road games.
- 49ers are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
- Chiefs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
49ers vs Chiefs Game History
- Total Meetings: 12
- First Meeting: December 6th, 1971. Candlestick Park. San Francisco, California.
- Last Meeting: October 5th, 2014. Levi Stadium. Santa Clara, California.
- All-Time Series: San Francisco 7-5-0
- Largest Margin of Victory: Kansas City 41-0
- Longest Win Streak: San Francisco 4 (1975-1991)
- Current Win Streak: San Francisco 1 (2014)
Expert 49ers vs Chiefs NFL Preseason Prediction
I know the preseason means nothing, but this is a bad 49ers team. It’s rare a team is favored by morethan 3 in the first week of the preseason, but I’d take the Chiefs anyway.