By Terrance Turner
November 27, 2022
Today’s Sunday afternoon game on FOX featured the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams could hardly be further apart; the Chiefs entered the game at 9-2. The Rams were 3-7. Plus they were playing without quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has a neck injury. Bryce Perkins started in his place. The Rams defense was stalwart, thwarting the Chiefs at almost every turn. But the Chiefs overcame that defense (and some subpar scoring in the Red Zone) to win handily.
Things started with a bang…literally. One of the Rams smacked his own teammate in the face by mistake as the game got underway. And Rams coach Sean McVay got hit in the head by his own player, Roger Carter Jr. Carter smoked McVay in the jaw just two minutes into the first quarter.
The Chiefs started scoring right out the gate. On their first drive, quarterback Patrick Mahomes located tight end Travis Kelce, who scampered past the defense for a 39-yard touchdown.
The Rams got on the board with a field goal. The Chiefs’ second drive was hampered by near misses, like a spectacular pass catch by Marques Valdez Scantling that was ruled incomplete. Mahomes threw a short pass to Ronald Jones for 22 yards. Two plays later, Mahomes took off running on 3rd and 7th, sliding inside the five yard line for first and goal.
He then threw a touchdown pass to tight end Noah Gray, but it was negated by a penalty. The refs threw a flag for an ineligible man downfield. Mahomes threw a couple shovel passes on the next pitch; both were incomplete. So the Chiefs settled for three points instead of seven. On 4th and goal, Harrison Butler kicked a 27-yard field goal.
The Chiefs got inside the red zone again before the end of the half. But they were kept out of the end zone by the Rams defense. Butker kicked a field goal to make it 13-3 at halftime.
Both teams faced challenges going into the second half. The Chiefs offense wasn’t as high powered as normal, but the Rams’ offense was even worse. Los Angeles managed just three points and three passing yards in the first half. That’s the fewest ever under head coach Sean McVay. And things improved only slightly in the second half.
The third quarter began with a quick three-and-out by Los Angeles. But Kansas City put together a masterfully methodical drive. Mahomes spread the wealth, lobbing short passes to a variety of receivers – including Noah Gray, Skyy Moore and Jody Fortson. Isaiah Pacheco turned on the jets for a 17-yard gain, then powered his way into the end zone for the touchdown. Kansas City went up 20-3. And Pacheco celebrated with a dance.
The Chiefs now enjoyed a commanding lead. But just when they needed it most, the Rams offense put together a successful drive. IT took them to the end of the third quarter and into the fourth.
The Rams embarked on a mission to stay alive offensively. 14 plays and 75 yards later, they hit paydirt. Backup QB Bryce Perkins threw his first NFL career touchdown to receiver Van Jefferson. The Rams narrowed the lead to 10.
And then they took possession from the Chiefs. At least temporarily. Kansas City got to the red zone again. But on 3rd and goal, Nick Scott intercepted Mahomes in the end zone. The Rams had the ball. But they gave it right back. Chiefs defender L’Jarius Sneed picked off Perkins in the ensuing drive. Kansas City cash in with another red zone trip. And this time they converted. Harrison Butker kicked a 22 yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 23-10 lead.
The Rams retook possession. But it didn’t last long. Perkins got intercepted by Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton. Perkins’ pass got tipped into the air and the ball landed in Bolton’s arms. The pick gave Kansas City the ball for the final few minutes of regulation.
To make matters worse, the Rams defense picked up a penalty. As Pacheco was running out of bounds, Jones shoved him to the ground. It’s an obvious penalty. Refs flagged Jones for unnecessary roughness; the resulting 15 yard penalty took the Chiefs to first and goal. Kansas City responded by handing Pacheco the ball again. He rushed for three straight running plays. Finally, on 4th and goal, Butker drilled another field goal to make it 26-10.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 320 yards and a touchdown, Isiah Pacheco ran for a score, and the Kansas City Chiefs slogged their way to a 26-10 victory over the beat-up Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The Rams suffer their fifth straight loss; the Chiefs are enjoying their fifth straight win.
In his first career start, Perkins threw for over a hundred yards and two interceptions.
Despite throwing for more than triple the yardage, Mahomes was disappointed with what he called a “dumb, dumb interception”. He credited the defense for its performance.
Defensive end Frank Clark also expressed reservations about the Chiefs’ performance. ” SO am I happy with the victory? Yeah, I ‘m happy with the W, like everybody else. But we don’t want to get complacent,” he said. “It was a tough win. It wasn’t like, an easy one.”