Monday Night Football this week takes us to Los Angeles for what a lot of people would argue is the marquee game of the season to this point. This game was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, but the field conditions were so bad that players were threatening to sit out the game because of fear of injury and the game was quickly moved to Los Angeles after it was discovered how bad the field conditions were in Mexico City. This game has all the makings to be the game of the year.
Chiefs offense vs Rams defense
I was someone who was trying to be cautious about the Chiefs’ offense when they got off to the hot start of the season they did just because we’d seen it before, but they haven’t slowed down at all this season. The running game is still very strong and Patrick Mahomes has been able to use all of the weapons in his disposal to make for a nearly unstoppable offense up to this point in the season.
On the flip side, the Rams were supposed to have a dominant defense after the way they performed last season under Wade Phillips, and they’ve been fine to this point, but not nearly as good as people might’ve thought. A big reason for that could be the injury to Aqib Talib, but up front they haven’t stopped the run very well despite having one of the most dominant defensive lines in the league in terms of pass rush, that also includes Aaron Donald, who is probably the best defensive player in all of football.
Chiefs center Mitch Morse is out of this game and that’ll definitely hurt because he’s the signal-caller of the offensive line and trying to deal with that pass rush, which is especially strong up the middle, without your center will be tough. But as long as the offensive line can give Mahomes adequate time to throw the ball they should have no problems moving the ball on a Rams defense that’s not playing very well right now.
Rams offense vs Chiefs defense
On paper the Chiefs defense isn’t good. At least the Rams look good on defense on paper. The Chiefs have also been without Eric Berry because of a heel injury and the difference in their defense when he’s on the field compared to when he’s not on the field is drastic. Now to be fair, this Chiefs defense has been playing better as of late, but now they too will have to go up against one of the better defenses in the league, much like their counterparts.
The Rams will now be without Cooper Kupp, who has proven to be a very good NFL receiver, because he has a torn ACL, but even without him I don’t see the Rams having that hard of a time moving the ball. They are very good up front, Jared Goff has been very good this season, they still have Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, oh, and Todd Gurley was the Offensive Player of the Year last season and he’s making a strong case for winning that award again.
Much like the Chiefs offense, I don’t see the Rams having a hard time moving the ball against this Chiefs defense.
I’ll give the edge to the Rams here. Greg Zuerlein is a very good kicker and Johnny Hekker is one of the best punters in the league, although I don’t anticipate the Rams having to use him too much.
I think the Rams are a slightly better team because they do still have the better defense just because of that pass rush, but I think the Chiefs are playing a little bit better right now despite both teams being 9-1. There’s kind of a misconception out there that the Rams have been blowing everyone out, but that’s not true. They have won a good amount of close games, which is a good trait to have, but with Marcus Peters as the number one corner, the Rams’ secondary has really struggled and against this passing offense I don’t see them being able to slow down Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes and that passing offense at all. I’m going to go with the Chiefs to win a really tough road game in an absolute shootout.