Preview: Chiefs at Rams
The Los Angeles Rams saw their perfect record come to an end two weeks ago in New Orleans in a marquee showdown between the two highest-scoring teams in the NFC. Another high-octane matchup is on desk for the Rams, who will face a test against the best team in the AFC when quarterback Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs pay them a visit on Monday night.
The teams enter Monday’s game – initially scheduled to be played in Mexico City – with identical 9-1 records, marking only the fifth time since the 1970 merger that two clubs squared off in Week 11 with fewer than two losses each. “It’s fun if you’re watching as a football fan; it’s not fun when you’re watching it getting ready to play them,” Los Angeles coach Sean McVay told reporters of facing Kansas City, which is averaging 35.3 points and features the league’s passing yards leader in Mahomes. Chiefs coach Andy Reid understands the challenge of trying to match up with the Rams, who have league-leading rusher Todd Gurley and quarterback Jared Goff – who is second to Mahomes in passing yards. “You have to be disciplined,” Reid told reporters. “They’re a disciplined offense, so you have to be disciplined from a defensive standpoint. Then practice that way and then you go play.”
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Rams -3.5. O/U: 63
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (9-1): Mahomes had his streak of eight straight 300-yard performances halted in last week’s 26-14 win over Arizona, but he threw a pair of scoring passes to give him the franchise’s single-season record of 31 with only seven interceptions. Mahomes has a bevy of weapons at his disposal that includes game-breaking wide receiver Tyreek Hill (nine touchdowns) and tight end Travis Kelce, who leads the team with 57 catches to go along with six scores. Running back Kareem Hunt also is a dangerous two-way threat with 13 total TDs on 754 yards rushing and 23 receptions. Kansas City ranks 29th overall in defense with an average of 410.7 yards allowed but is tied for second in the league in sacks with 31.
ABOUT THE RAMS (9-1): Gurley, the NFL’s runaway leader in both rushing and touchdowns, needs only 12 yards to reach 1,000 and has scored 17 times – two shy of his total from last year. Goff has 22 scoring passes versus six interceptions and has recorded four straight games with a passer rating of at least 111.0. Cooper Kupp had a team-high six touchdown receptions before he was lost for the season with a torn ACL, but Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks have 55 and 51 catches, respectively, and three scores apiece. Los Angeles features the league’s sacks leader in star defensive tackle Aaron Donald (12.5) and yields only 233.1 passing yards per game, although the Saints put up 346 on them.
1. Mahomes has thrown 18 TD passes and three interceptions for a passer rating of 125.9 in five road games this season.
2. Goff has amassed 1,015 passing yards with seven scores and one interception in his last three home contests.
3. Gurley and Hunt are the only two running backs with more than 2,000 rushing yards since the start of the 2017 campaign.