This is the big week folks — the Chiefs finally face off against the Rams in what should be a spectacle of offensive fury. I am beyond excited for this game, and I’m sure the rest of Chiefs Kingdom is too.
Let’s see what FanPulse has to say about the Chiefs this week:
FanPulse is a survey of fans across the NFL powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100-plus plugged-in fans from each team.
Arrowhead Pride FanPulse predicts the Chiefs to win by 3
Turf Show Times FanPulse predicts the Rams to win by 1
You can sign up for AP FanPulse here to take the weekly survey.
This is the first week in a while where the Chiefs weren’t favored by both teams. Chiefs fans think Kansas City will win by three, while Rams fans believe they will win by one point.
Now let’s get on to the predictions:
Shawn Barber, Chiefs 34-30
This week’s prediction is a #SaluteToService.
Keys to the Game
1. Stop Todd Gurley, and make the Rams offense one-dimensional. Chiefs should play a lot of tight zone coverage. Re-route WRs to throw off timing. Control the quarterback scrambling with pass-rush lane discipline by the front four. Bring a delayed blitz to disrupt the play-action passes. A few quarterback hits will change their play calling.
2. Chiefs need to have a high priority on stopping Todd Gurley in the run and pass game. Make Jared Goff attempt to beat you with his arm.
3. Chiefs offensive line need to be great in identifying Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. #ProtectPat
4. Did I mention? Stop Todd Gurley.
Ground and pound will be the theme. Both teams should try to set up the play-action passing game by running the ball early.
A relatively low-scoring first half (under 28 total points), but the Chiefs will find a way to win in the end.
Aaron Borgmann, Chiefs 38-35
OK. Hang on folks, this is gonna be a long one.
I had a big write up on Mexico City and how much I loved the food and how nice of a city it is—that all changed on Tuesday.
First, this game only truly matters to the fans. The Chiefs are No. 1 in the AFC, AFC West, and in most people’s minds in the NFL. A loss here doesn’t really mean anything. Since the Pats loss last week, there is a buffer now.
That being said. This game scares me.....a lot.
The Rams are the more talented team overall. The Chiefs have been playing better overall the entire season. The Cooper Kupp injury cannot be understated as being a huge net win for the Chiefs. I’m not scared Goff, Woods, Cooks, etc. TODD GURLEY SCARES ME. Like, a lot. He has the ability to control this game. I think that this is a title fight, before the SB. This is Ali/Foreman in Zaire.
Who will blink first? Which defense will make a stop? Who will punt the most? This is what matters.
I believe that the change to LA actually doesn’t help anyone, Rams or Chiefs. The travel is the travel, it really truly means nothing in the scheme of things. The altitude is a negligible factor, the better team usually ends up winning neutral site games no matter the “advantage.” This has been proven over the years.
I’m going to pick the Chiefs, I’m not confident in the pick. I’m not going to pretend like I know what is going to happen. I do know that this may be the most entertaining game of the year.
John Dixon, Chiefs 37-24
This game brings together two very similar teams — both overwhelming on offense and relatively weak on defense — and it would be easy to just say it will be a high-scoring shootout and move on. But I’m not so sure. Both teams are likely to bring a solid pass rush, but only Jared Goff is likely to be affected by it; Patrick Mahomes should be able to brush it off and make plays. With Sammy Watkins back, it should be an early Thanksgiving feast for Mahomes — with plenty of ketchup for the turkey! Todd Gurley will probably get his on the ground, but I expect the Chiefs to try and limit him as a receiver — which will be easier than expected, because without Cooper Kupp, the Rams have no viable third receiver. Sean McVay’s attempt to get an additional advantage by practicing in Colorado — perhaps a fine idea in theory — will end up doing nothing more than costing his team a valuable day of preparation. Finally... in addition to this week’s travel carousel, the Rams are coming off two tough games -- one of which they lost — while the Chiefs have cruised through two weaker opponents with half an eye on this game. On Tuesday morning, nobody is going to wonder which of these teams is better.
Matt Lane, Chiefs 45-38
One of the most anticipated games all year, the Rams and the Chiefs square off in LA competing for bragging rights as the top team/offense. The Chiefs have had a few lower-tier opponents the last few weeks and while not coasting may have been looking forward to this upcoming matchup while the Rams last two games have been a narrow victory vs a divisional opponent and a loss vs the other superpower in the NFC. The Chiefs may have a slight edge in terms of preparing for this game mentally for a longer time.
When the Rams have the ball it’s easy to say the Chiefs need to sell out to stop Todd Gurley but that may be a mistake. Gurley is a nightmare matchup for KC now matter how much they try to throw at him and are likely better suited to try and rally to the ball and play patiently vs the run. The two biggest keys are the Chiefs pass rush vs a quality offensive line, forcing Goff off his spot greatly reduces his ability to be a good QB. Second is McVay vs Sutton; Sutton’s adjustments can be easily predicted and McVay is a genius at exploiting favorable matchups. For the Chiefs to succeed with the pass rush, Sutton will have to confuse the Rams and not allow the easy, quick completions to running backs and wide receivers matched up with linebackers or the safeties on an island.
When the Chiefs have the ball they should present as many and similar problems to the Rams. If the Rams resort to their usual man to man coverage, the Chiefs should use the quick game to set up the intermediate and longer passing game knowing the Rams cover players can’t match up with the receiving options. If the Rams go back to zone like last week, the protection will have to be better allowing WRs to find the soft spots because we know Mahomes can dice up a zone coverage. Hunt should be given plenty of carries this week attacking the edge of a poor linebacker and defensive end group.
This game should be a ton of fireworks on offense with both defenses battling for the 1-2 timely stops. The Chiefs, oddly, have been very good at getting off the field on third downs and forcing turnovers so while this game will be remembered for offensive output, the Chiefs defense (Dee Ford) comes up big with some key third-down stops in the second half.
Gary McKenzie, Rams 28-27
Early in the year, I had this lingering feeling the Chiefs would lose to the Rams in Mexico City (now Los Angeles), but beat them in the Super Bowl — I’m sticking with this theory.
I think the game will be lower scoring than a lot of people think. Both the Chiefs and Rams run similar offenses, and each team’s defense has had ample time preparing for Andy Reid and Sean McVay’s style of genius.
I believe the Chiefs will get their punches in, but I do not have faith in this Chiefs interior offensive line being able to stop Aaron Donald for four quarters. The five sacks allowed against the Cardinals last week didn’t help me relax either.
Matt Stagner, Chiefs 52-31
The offseason champs and NFC-best from LA should be the most formidable opponent of the season for the Chiefs. This KC team has been developing as they go through the schedule. In the first games, Mahomes was the story, hitting the league with shock-and-awe. The special teams units quietly earned the top ranking in the league. The defense struggled early, but all of a sudden looks like they can affect the passer and cover. They’re getting healthier and the young players are growing into their roles. The Chiefs have the quarterback and pass-rush advantage, and are at least equal if not better at offensive skill positions and coaching. The only real concerns are the run defense against Gurley and the interior offensive line against Donald. But, elite quarterback play and big-play ability on offense should help the Chiefs get a lead, and the pass rush will have another opportunity to dominate if the Rams have to play from behind. I think the Chiefs have a special Monday night ahead of them.
Craig Stout, Chiefs 44-35
It’s the battle of two great offenses against two bad defenses. Both teams have players on the defensive side of the ball that can make a massive difference — Aaron Donald and Dee Ford have been outstanding affecting the passer this year — but largely this game will go as the offensive execution goes. Todd Gurley will get his yardage on the ground, but the misdirection run game — utilizing jet sweeps and end-arounds — could be the real killer for the Chiefs defense. Jared Goff has been very good this year, but losing his security blanket in Cooper Kupp doesn’t help. The Rams will still move the ball through the air, but if the Chiefs defense can get alittle pressure from Ford, Chris Jones, or Justin Houston, Goff has shown weaknesses dealing with it.
For the Chiefs offense, Patrick Mahomes should be able to move the ball easily through a healthy Sammy Watkins, and the Rams will struggle to keep a lid on the top of the defense against Tyreek Hill. Travis Kelce should find a little room against this safety tandem, as well. On the ground, the Rams run defense is actually worse than the Chiefs run defense, so look for Kareem Hunt to find success as the engine of the offense this week. Much in the way that other teams try to keep the Chiefs offense off the field by running the ball and taking time off the clock, the Chiefs may play a little more of a ball control game this week.
This is a different defense than the one that got lit up by the New England Patriots five weeks ago. Houston’s return, healthier safeties, Dorian O’Daniel getting more snaps, and Jones playing like a man possessed will make some difference. The Chiefs defense may only need a couple stops to beat the Rams. I’m predicting they get three.
Kent Swanson, Rams 38-35
I’ve been back and forth all week about this one. There’s a ton of talent on both sides of the football. Both offenses are about as fun as you can get. The defenses are within .9 PPG allowed (LA 23.1 and KC 24.0) of each other. The Chiefs pass rush is coming on strong. They’ve got to disrupt if they want to win this game.
Only one team has Aaron Donald though. I’m terrified of him. The Chiefs have done an admirable job with Cameron Erving, Austin Reiter and Andrew Wylie on the interior of the offensive line and Mahomes has done a good job to this point navigating pressure. Donald is just a different beast. He makes a few plays too many for the Chiefs to overcome.
Pete Sweeney, Chiefs 52-49
This has been the toughest game of the year to call, in my opinion, because I think it is going to be a back-and-forth, high-scoring shootout. In those type of games, it comes down to the final possession, which is impossible to predict. I believe that will be the case here, and the Chiefs, having been through such a game in New England, learn their lesson and correctly manage the clock this time around. Give me five touchdowns for Patrick Mahomes, as the Chiefs win a thriller at the Coliseum.
Joel Thorman, Chiefs 42-40
Vegas is begging me to bet on the Chiefs with a 3.5 point line in favor of the Rams. I firmly believe the Chiefs offense is better than the Rams and has more weapons. The Rams defense is better than the Chiefs and are playing better right now than Kansas City. The Chiefs defense is hot right now though and that includes Dee Ford who has a big game to kill at least one Rams possession and help the Chiefs get the W.
Aly Trost, Chiefs 41-35
The key to this game is stopping Todd Gurley. 198 rush attempts for almost 1,000 yards this season...he’s a monster — and could be the difference between Chiefs win or a Chiefs loss. A reason not to fear here, though, is because the Chiefs’ defense has been improving week after week and, after giving up 43 on the road to the Patriots, I don’t see Bob Sutton or Andy Reid letting something like that happen again. Shakira may have won in Mexico City, but the Chiefs will come up victorious and serve the Rams their second loss
Dane Van Why, Rams 45-38
I am FIRED UP for this game. Currently being billed as one of the best games of the season, Rams-Chiefs should live up to the hype. This one is going to look a lot similar to Week 6 in New England, with two high-powered offenses trading blows until the final whistle. With the over/under already set at an unprecedented 63.5 points, Vegas is expecting a shootout, and so am I. But in the end, I think the Rams defense is superior to the Chiefs defense, and if Kansas City can’t keep up with the amount of offensive production needed to win this game, they won’t be able to secure the W in LA.
Each contributor picked the Chiefs to beat the Cardinals last week — shocker, I know.
Next week we should see some movement since we have some differing opinions this week.
|Dane Van Why
Who will win on Monday night in Los Angeles?
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