The Kansas City Chiefs face off against yet another talented defense, the San Francisco 49ers, this upcoming Sunday, marking the third time in four weeks that the Chiefs will compete against one of the top defenses in the NFL.
The Chiefs have already faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills, who each featured the league's No. 1 scoring defense when Kansas City played them. In both of those games, the Chiefs demonstrated that they could still move the football, averaging 30.5 points.
"It's a heck of a challenge to go up against the best, but that's what you want to do," said quarterback Patrick Mahomes. "You want to prepare yourself to be in those situations towards the end of the season, and hopefully in the playoffs. We just have to accept it every week and know that we are going to play the best teams week in and week out."
The 49ers' defense is ranked second in scoring this season, allowing an average of 14.8 points-per-game. They also rank first in total defense (281.5 yards-per-game), and on top of that, the 49ers trail only the Los Angeles Rams in terms of fewest first downs allowed this season (97).
San Francisco is led by defensive end Nick Bosa, who will return to action on Sunday after missing last week's game with a groin injury. Bosa is a powerful defensive end who has the capability of making big plays in the backfield, as evidenced by his team-leading six sacks this season. In fact, Bosa has 30.5 career sacks in only 40 games.
"That dude is a monster out there," said Mahomes. "He does everything well, but [he is] obviously extremely good at rushing the passer with power and speed, so he is someone you have to account for on every single snap."
The Chiefs view facing off against the best of the best as a positive instead of a negative. Playing these tougher opponents is a great opportunity to get better, and they understand that this will forge them into being the best team that they can be.
"You wouldn't want it any other way," said offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. "You want your guys to have an opportunity to line up against the best each and every week. That's the way you discover what type of team and what type of group you have."
Playing tougher opponents this early in the season is a great way for the Chiefs to see where they need to improve offensively. A good defense will expose the weaknesses of even the best offenses, and discovering where the offense needs to improve early on means it can get fixed for the backend of the season and hopefully the playoffs.
Through six weeks, the Chiefs – who own the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL – have already shown that they are capable of scoring against anyone, and based on what was said throughout the week, they appear excited for yet another challenging defense on Sunday. Once again, this upcoming game is just another opportunity to get better.
"I'm fired up, I wouldn't take it any different way," said coach Bieniemy. "We want to line up and play against the best each and every week."