Monday’s game may have been the craziest NFL game I have ever seen. The game lived up to the billing and then some, but no one could have expected the twists and turns in this game. The Rams were the victors, winning 54-51. We have a lot of things to look back on from this Chiefs-Rams contest, so let’s get started.
Fast Start vs Slow Start
The Rams were ready to play through the first ten minutes of the game. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were less disciplined and looked shook off their game early.
Los Angeles took just three minutes to score on the opening drive of the game. Kansas City was only able to pick up two yards on their first drive and were forced to punt. The Rams made the second drive look just as nonchalant as the first drive. The Chiefs defense got exposed in zone coverage on this drive, leaving receivers open all over the field. After another touchdown, Los Angeles was leading 13-0.
Kansas City seemingly woke up after this Rams score. Their first touchdown drive took just four plays, as Patrick Mahomes had no problem hitting Tyreek Hill after he beat Sam Shields off the line with ease. The defense made enough plays on a long drive to hold the Rams to a field goal on the ensuing drive. Then after a field goal of their own, the Chiefs defense stripped Jared Goff and recovered a fumble around the L.A. twenty yard line. It took just one play after getting the ball back, and the Chiefs found the end zone on a screen pass to Kareem Hunt. From that moment where Goff fumbled, it felt like this game had finally reached the point where both teams were going to be swinging for the fences in a tight game.
Blow For Blow
Coming out of halftime, there were many similarities including the 23 points that they each scored. They also each had missed one extra point and rushed the ball ten times. Also, both quarterbacks had fumbled once, which lead to touchdowns for both teams.
Like many times this season, the Chiefs offense received the ball to open the second half. A few big plays moved the Chiefs down to the L.A. twenty-five yard line. But for the second time in the contest, Aaron Donald happened. The best defensive player in the game shredded his way through a block and forced a Mahomes fumble. The Rams recovered and were starting their drive in Kansas City territory.
Both teams would trade touchdowns after that turnover. Then the Rams would hit a three-point field goal after that, to go up 33-30. The worst of Mahomes five turnovers would lead to a defensive touchdown after the field goal. On an RPO play, Mahomes seemed undecided on whether he wanted to throw to Tyreek or Demetrius Harris. With being undecided and staying flat-footed, the pass was low and wobbly. Samson Ebukam would return it to the house.
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Once again, the Chiefs had to give every ounce to crawl back into it. Down by ten, the Kansas City defense forced a punt. Next, the Chiefs offense would find their way back into the end zone to get within three, as Mahomes found Tyreek on a 73-yard bomb. It seemed like the Rams were ready to take a home run shot of their own after that. But with another strip sack by the Chiefs defense, the ball landed in the hands of Allen Bailey and he walked into the end zone to give the Chiefs their first lead of the second half.
More back and forth scores followed, but in the end, the Rams defense forced turnovers when they needed to. The Chiefs had a chance to seal it, but a dropped interception by Orlando Scandrick was one of many plays that altered the outcome of the game. It was a game where both teams went through a lot, and now a much-needed bye week awaits both teams.
Chief State of Mind
Obviously, a loss like this is heartbreaking, but there is still plenty to be happy about for what we have seen from the Chiefs so far. To start, if you would have asked most people going into the season that the Chiefs would only have two road losses and two total losses heading into the bye with a quarterback starting in his first full season, most would probably not believe you. Especially when you consider the teams they have faced on the road are a combined 38-21-2 so far this season, and the difficult opposing environments they had to play in, that is something most likely didn’t see happening.
Now let’s look at their two losses. Yes, the Chiefs made some awfully bad mistakes in both losses, but the fight that they showed in both games is something most teams do not possess. In New England, the offense had their worst half of the season to open the game. In the second half, the offense fought back to trade shots with New England and even took the lead at one point.
Against L.A., given the Chiefs suspect defense facing a matchup like the Rams offense, most teams would have gotten blown out by halftime gave the slow start and turnovers. But, the Chiefs were still able to take the lead at times and to only lose by three with five turnovers and thirteen penalties are unheard of. So even though Kansas City’s two losses are tough to swallow, both games are big learning points and it’s better to have losses like this in October and November than January or February.
Looking at what’s occurred so far heading into the bye, the Chiefs are set up nicely to have a chance to be the AFC’s number one seed. They play a bleak Raiders team twice. They play a Ravens team that will likely give Kansas City a hard fought game, but given the quarterback health of Baltimore, this does not seem like as difficult of a matchup as it was looking back a month ago. The Chargers and Seahawks will both be very testing games, but we know the Chiefs recent success against the Chargers and Seattle’s offense is middle of the pack in scoring at best. It also seems that the team is getting healthier, as well.
The biggest thing standing in the Chiefs way is themselves. Kansas City has been called for the most penalties this season, nineteen more than any other team. They have not always been able to limit the turnovers and put games away.
For each game preview, we look at stats to keep an eye on going into a game. We are going to use Monday’s historic game to see how bizarre the NFL game can be.
-First, to put into perspective how crazy this game was, back in Week 10 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had more yards against Washington than the Rams had in this game against the Chiefs. The Bucs scored just 3 points in that game, the Rams put up 54.
-Both teams combined for the third most points in a game in NFL history at 105 points.
-This game was the first time in NFL history where both teams scored 50+ points, meaning the Chiefs were the first ever NFL team to score at least 50 and lose. Going back to college, Mahomes has actually lost four times when his team’s scored at least 50 points.
-Both the Rams and Chiefs combined for 14 touchdowns in this contest. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills have only scored 13 touchdowns this entire season.
-The Rams Samson Ebukam is the first player with a sack, interception and multiple touchdowns in a single game since sacks became official in 1982. His teammate Aaron Donald leads the NFL this season in sacks with 14.5, quarterback hits with 28, and tackles for loss with 16 after this game.
-For Kansas City, they now have 9 games this season with 30+ points, the most in team history.
Thank you for reading the Chiefs-Rams recap. Happy Thanksgiving from the entire Full Press Coverage family.