FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
T JONATHAN MARTIN
The 49ers are keeping Anthony Davis’ status a mystery. But the offensive right tackle didn’t practice all week with a knee injury, indicating a fourth start for Martin. He’ll be matched most of the afternoon against the Chiefs’ Justin Houston, who is tied for the league lead with five sacks.
QB COLIN KAEPERNICK
His completion percentage is up, but so are his interceptions, a dynamic that underscores the vexing start for the 49ers quarterback. Meanwhile, the soft spot in the Kansas City secondary is a familiar one to the 49ers. Cornerback Marcus Cooper, a seventh-round pick in 2013 for San Francisco, has allowed 310 receiving yards.
CB PERRISH COX
He has been excellent in relief of Tramaine Brock, who will sit out another game with a turf toe injury. Both Cox’s and fellow cornerback Chris Culliver’s job description changes some on Sunday. The Chiefs don’t attack downfield much, but they do like to match monster-sized tight end Travis Kelce against smaller cornerbacks.
S ANTOINE BETHEA
Linebacker Patrick Willis leads the team in tackles with 23, but Bethea is close behind with 20. He and free safety Eric Reid must fire up from the secondary in run support, especially on outside rushes and screen plays. Both plays are Chiefs specialties.
S L.J. MCCRAY
The 49ers are in the lower third of the league in both punt- and kickoff-return yards allowed, and they gave up an 82-yard punt return to the Eagles last week. McCray, a rookie, has the potential to be a standout on the coverage units, but he has yet to make his mark.
|Sept. 7||at Dallas||W, 28-17|
|Sept. 14||vs. Chicago||L, 28-20|
|Sept. 21||at Arizona||L, 23-14|
|Sept. 28||vs. Philadelphia||W, 26-21|
|Today||vs. Kansas City||1:25 p.m.|
|Oct. 13||at St. Louis||5:30 p.m.|
|Oct. 19||at Denver||5:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 2||vs. St. Louis||1:05 p.m.|
|Nov. 9||at New Orleans||10 a.m.|
|Nov. 16||at N.Y. Giants||10 a.m.|
|Nov. 23||Washington||1:25 p.m.|
|Nov. 27||Seattle||5:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 7||at Raiders||1:25 p.m.|
|Dec. 14||at Seattle||1:25 p.m.|
|Dec. 20||vs. San Diego||1:30 p.m.|
|Dec. 28||vs. Arizona||1:25 p.m.|