It’s the marquee Monday night matchup of the season as the NFL’s two best teams, the (9-1) Kansas City Chiefs and (9-1) Los Angeles Rams face off under the lights (8:15 PM ET on ESPN).
While this is just a regular season game taking place about two thirds through the season, this could also be a taste of a potential Super Bowl rematch between these two fantastic squads. Football fans are certainly in for a treat as two absolute heavyweights of the league this year are set for a can’t miss Monday night showdown.
Fighting out of the blue and gold corner, there is the Los Angeles Rams, the best team in the NFC. At 9-1, the Rams have just one blemish on their record and it didn’t come until week nine against the (8-1) New Orleans Saints. This came after victories against the (7-2) Los Angeles Chargers, (5-5) Seattle Seahawks, (5-3-1) Minnesota Vikings and (4-5-1) Green Bay Packers. It is only week 11, but the Rams have already locked up the title in the NFC West.
Fighting out of the red and yellow corner is the Kansas City Chiefs, the best team in the AFC. Much like the Rams, the Chiefs have just one loss to their name and much like the Rams, it came against one of the best teams in the conference, the (7-3) New England Patriots. That loss aside, the Chiefs boast victories over the Chargers, (6-2-1) Pittsburgh Steelers and (5-4) Cincinnati Bengals. Unlike the Rams however, they still have some work to do to lock up the AFC West as the Chargers will be no worse than 2.5 games back (and at best 1.5) following their own week 11 matchup against the (3-6) Denver Broncos.
Patrick Mahomes Making Incredible Case for NFL MVP
When a team posts a 9-1 record, there are obvious reasons for it. Sometimes it’s a shutdown defense much like the Seahawks had in the Legion of Boom days. Sometimes it’s having one of the best rushers in the game just going off every single week. Most of the time though, it has to do with the man under center and the level of QB play he provides his team.
For the Chiefs, two out of three ain’t bad. Kansas City has one of the worst defenses in the league, ranking 31st out of 32 teams in yards allowed. They aren’t really stopping scoring but here’s the thing, they don’t need to. Because week in and week out, the Chiefs come prepared for a shoot-out and they have only lost that bet once. Other than that, Kansas City, which is second in points per game with an average of 35.5, has always been able to enter the OK Corral and come out on top. While Kareem Hunt has done his job (4th among RBs in TD and rushing yards; 7th in YPG and 10th in TD), the unquestioned reason for KC’s success is their second-year quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes leads the NFL in touchdowns (31) and passing yards (3,150 yards). He is second in passer rating with a mark of 117.4. To put some of this into perspective, Mahomes is on pace for some pretty spectacular numbers. About a month ago, that pace was over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. As of right now, he is only slightly under that pace, which would put him at 49 touchdowns. To maintain that kind of scoring effort all season long is just something that does not happen often. Mahomes is doing some amazing things and what is even more impressive is that he’s doing it in his first year as a starter. Mahomes made it into one game last year and played just okay, certainly not at this level.
Offense Wins Games
If you’ve read any of these NFL write-ups before, you’ve no doubt seen the use of the phrase “defense wins championships.” It’s one of those age-old adages that is sometimes right, sometimes wrong. But it exists as an expression for a reason. That being said, maybe come February we’ll be looking at these two teams in the Super Bowl. If that’s the case, we certainly won’t be saying defense wins championships as defense is not a strong suit for the Rams or Chiefs. Offense on the other hand . . .
These two teams are like yin and well, yin, when it comes to what they do well. We already went over Mahomes’ record numbers but the Rams are no slouch at the QB position either. Jared Goff is fourth in the NFL in TD (22) and second just to Mahomes in passing yards (3,134). He is also fifth in passer rating and holds an edge over Mahomes as he is ranked seventh in completion percentage compared to Mahomes who sits at 12th.
It is thanks to these QBs and their offensive coordinators that the Chiefs and Rams are respectively ranked second and third in the NFL in passing yards and fourth and fifth in passing yards per game. Overall, these two teams sit one and two, with the Rams in first, in total yards and two and three in yards per game. When it comes to points per game, the Chiefs are second with 35.3 and the Rams are third with 33.5.
Chances are one and possibly both of these teams are going to the Super Bowl and if that happens, much like it will be Monday night, it won’t be their defenses that people are paying attention to. Defense may win championships as they say, but offense wins games and these two teams have proven that better than anyone else this season.
Our Preview’s Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Rams Betting Picks & Predictions
This is a tough one. Two teams with identical records and almost identical strengths and weaknesses. Two teams with really good running backs (LA’s Todd Gurley is first in the league in TD, rushing yards and yards per game) and really good quarterbacks. It is hard to figure out exactly which one might have a slight advantage on Monday night.
This preview will have to look at the trends and one of the biggest ones might be the way that the Chiefs thrive on the road. Kansas City has won seven of their last nine away from Arrowhead, covering the spread in eight of those games. This is the situation we are looking at on Monday night and so these are our Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Rams predictions:
- The Chiefs are road underdogs and the first of our picks is that they will continue to find success in that role. Take KC +3.5pts @ -111 with BetOnline.
- Look for the total points to be scored in this NFL game to go over the projected 63, which is one of the highest totals ever. We advise going over 63pts @ -110 with Bookmaker. If you want the lowest spread then go over 62.5pts @ -120 with BetOnline.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.