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49ers vs. Chiefs 1st quarter thread: Are we in for an unexpectedly lower-scoring game?

It feels that way. Expect the Niners to attempt to control the clock early on

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 49ers are minutes away from kicking off against the Kansas City Chiefs. All eyes will be on Christian McCaffrey, but it’ll be DeMeco Ryans and the defense as the reason the 49ers win this game.

Talanoa Hufanga and Jimmie Ward starting in the secondary, will loom large. Deommodore Lenoir and Samuel Womack will have their hands full and targets on their backs, you’d have to imagine.

One way to help the secondary is by getting a pass rush. And with a healthy group of pass rushers, Ryans should take advantage of a pair of lackluster offensive tackles on the Chiefs.

San Francisco will look to control the clock in the first half offensively. That doesn’t mean Kyle Shanahan needs to run it on every first and second down. We’ll see how often he opens up the passing game and lets Jimmy Garoppolo throw the ball down the field.

I’d expect a lower scoring first half, contrary to opinion.