It must be really exciting to be a fan of either the Rams or the Chiefs, not just for this season but for the immediate future ahead. Both are equipped with young QB’s, talented wide receivers, studs on the defensive side of the ball, and MVP material at the running back positions. When you also add in offensive minded head coaches, these 2 franchises are a joy to watch in 2018. The question for the immediate future is can one of these teams with 9-1 records win the big one this year? Looking ahead to January, the Rams will likely have to find a way to overcome the Saints, whilst the Chiefs will have to continue what has been one of the most exciting seasons for the franchise in recent history. That’s for another day though, in week 11 they play each other in what is the game of the week so lets take a look at the big game.

Chiefs Offence vs Rams Defence

MVP leading candidate Patrick Mahomes enters the game as the highest-rated passer in the league having taken the 2018 season by storm. To produce this level of play in only his second year with coach Andy Reid is remarkable. He has a huge helping hand from some amazing weapons around him. Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce make up arguable the most rounded group of pass catchers across the league. The Chiefs have the most receptions of 40 yards or over so are explosive in the passing game. Don’t forget Kareem Hunt however! A great all-purpose back who places in the top-five in rushing and touchdowns on the ground.

So what about the Rams defence? They rank in the middle of the pack in terms of teams scoring against them, but they do struggle holding up in the red zone, where the Chiefs rank in the top 5 in this area. The pass coverage from the Rams is better than many of the ones the Chiefs have faced, but on the flip side they are dead last when it comes to rush yards per opponents attempt. Despite owning arguably the games best defender on Aaron Donald who has already registered 12.5 sacks this season, this defence is still in need of some work.

Rams Offence vs Chiefs Defence

Jared Goff was last years 2nd year quarterback revelation following the arrival of Sean McVay, now he ranks as one of this seasons best quarterbacks. To supplement the passing game, league leading rusher Todd Gurley is a beast in the run game and leads most rushing statistics including both yards and touchdowns on the ground. In an offence short of a reliable tight end, Gurley acts as Goff’s security blanket out of the backfield. In the wide receiver room there is Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. An ACL tear to the latter will open up opportunities for other guys on the roster as the Rams are almost exclusively lining up with 3 receiver sets.

Similar to LA it’s fair to say that Kansas City has an average at best defence. Partly due to the offence being so explosive the defence play too many snaps, ranking 3rd in the league in terms of plays ran against them. The bright spot for the Chiefs is their pass-rush particularly with Justin Houston back. With Chris Jones and Dee Ford having nice campaigns they make quite the pass-rushing group. the secondary is better than expected after the loss of safety and leader Eric Berry to injury.

What helps Kansas City win?

1. Win on 3rd down defence – They need to win this battle and not let the Rams control possession.
2. Get into Goffs face – They have three big-time pass-rushers. Goff ranks in the top 10 quarterbacks when not pressured but in the bottom 10 when he is pressured.
3. Don’t make Mahomes be the hero –  Kareem Hunt can have one of his best games of the year if the Chiefs feed him the rock against a vulnerable Rams run defence.

What helps Los Angeles win?

1. Win time of possession – Keep the red hot Mahomes on the sidelines and work Todd Gurley.
2. Convert in the red zone – The Chiefs have a 16% higher success rate on the season inside the red zone so LA need to step up here.
3. Replace Cooper Kupp’s production – The Rams can rely on Gurley, Cooks, and Woods to produce but will look for Josh Reynolds or Tyler Higbee to fill the void.

Who Wins?

The game has been moved back from Mexico to LA so the Rams have true home field advantage but the Chiefs are extremely efficient at finishing drives and define explosive. The Rams will likely chew up time of possession to attempt to limit opportunities for Mahomes. Todd Gurley will probably take whatever yards he wants and this Rams offence will score a lot of points. The Chiefs however are one of only a couple teams that can go punch-for-punch with the Rams.

It’s a great game and neither side winning would come as any great surprise but I’m taking the Chiefs in a close one. Enjoy the game all.

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