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49ers-Chiefs: Jumping On Them Early

The 49ers and Chiefs square off today at 10am pacific and with a few hours before kickoff I thought I'd roll out some different situational rankings that might be worth paying attention to throughout the game. As we get further into the season Florida Danny will be more likely to provide these kinds of previews with a bit more depth once there is a greater statistical sample to utilize. Since we don't quite have that statistical sample, I'll thrown them out with a bit less context for now.

Yesterday we looked at Football Outsiders rundown of team defense against specific receivers in order to assess the matchup between Vernon Davis and the Chiefs defense. Today, I thought we'd take a look at some of FO's premium content that looks at team rankings for offense and defense in some specific situations.

Over the course of two games the 49ers have been incredibly inconsistent in their performance. Week one saw them blow the doors out to start the game and fall off a cliff midway through the second quarter. Week two saw the 49ers trip over themselves coming out of the gate before rebounding later in the game.

The folks at FO have put together DVOA rankings for defenses by each quarter and the Kansas City Chiefs have some intriguing numbers. Here is the Chiefs quarter-by-quarter DVOA and ranking for their defense (a negative percent is good for a defense):

1st quarter: 13.3% (25th)
2nd quarter: -53.1% (3rd)
3rd quarter: 27.0% (28th)
4th quarter/OT: -20.0% (8th)

The 49ers will have their work cut out for them today and getting off to a strong start would be huge. Ideally the 49ers will put together four solid quarters of play and handle their business wire-to-wire. Of course, this season is clearly not looking to be an ideal one so at the very least it would be nice if the 49ers could jump out to an early lead. And not a 3-0 or 6-0 lead. The 49ers need to put some touchdowns on the board early and often.

That's not exactly shocking information, but it certainly doesn't make it any less important. While these stats are still a bit too early to be completely conclusive, it will be interesting to see if the Chiefs performance by quarter holds up today.