The Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs will go into the week 11 Monday night football game in search of win number 10. It would be league-leading 10 wins for both teams as they are both the top teams in their respective leagues.
The New Orleans Saints have challenged the Rams as of late, matching their 9-1 record, and the Chiefs are two wins above the next closest in the AFC. It doesn’t happen often where the two best teams from their respective leagues square-off during an in-season matchup. However, that is exactly what will be happening on Monday night. Playoff and possibly Super Bowl implications will be on display tonight between the Rams and Chiefs.
Both teams have been successful in 2018 due to their prolific offenses. Todd Gurley, of the Rams, leads the NFL in yards (988) and touchdowns (17). However, the running back for the Chiefs is not far behind him. Kareem Hunt is fourth in the league with 754 yards and has 13 touchdowns, which is good for third in the NFL.
On the ground, they are matched up nicely, but the Rams have a clear edge, so how is the passing game? KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes is third in the NFL in passing yards with 3,150. However, Rams QB Jared Goff is right behind him in fourth with 3,202 yards.
It is clear that both teams have dominant offenses, which could lead to a shootout. However, the edge on offense will probably go to Kansas City. This is because the play-makers that the Chiefs have like Tyreek Hill, Hunt and Mahomes are more dynamic and multi-dimensional than those of LA. Other than Todd Gurley, the Rams have a pretty standard offense. They have a solid receiving core, an explosive running back and a good passing quarterback.
For the Chiefs, Mahomes can turn dead plays into positive gains with his legs. He has double the rushing yards that Goff has, along with nine more touchdowns. Tyreek Hill made a name for himself last year with his highlight-reel plays. This year he hasn’t had as many, but the potential is still there for Hill to run 100 yards at any given play. The Rams don’t have a playmaker as explosive as Hill.
The Rams are also going to be without one of their best wide receivers, Cooper Kupp. Kupp suffered a torn ACL in their previous game, and will obviously not play against the Chiefs. Kupp was one of Goff’s favorite targets, as he accounted for over 550 yards receiving and six touchdowns. If this game comes down to a shootout, the Chiefs will prevail.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 19, 2018
Defense is an area where it appears that the Rams have a major advantage over the Chiefs. Aaron Donald leads the NFL in sacks with 12.5 for the Rams. However, the Rams rank 14th in sacks with a total of 26. The Chiefs surprisingly are sixth in the league in sacks with 31.
The Rams have eight fumble recoveries, which is fourth-best in the league, whereas the Chiefs are 18th in that category. However, the Chiefs have 11 interceptions, which is fourth-best in the NFL, compared to the Rams ranking 21st in interceptions with seven.
The stats continue to go back and forth on virtually every defensive category. The point is, the Chiefs and Rams are a lot more equal on defense than it seems on paper. It will be huge if the Chiefs continue their success with interceptions and sacks to get Goff off-balance early. If that is the case, the offense will have ample opportunities to score early and often. If the Chiefs are able to do this, they could significantly deplete the usage of the Rams’ best weapon in Gurley. It will be interesting to see which defense out-performs the other, and therefore giving the offense more opportunities.