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chiefStats: Five stats that could determine the Chiefs’ game against Rams

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Here are five stats to know ahead of Monday Night Football.

Welcome back to another week of chiefStats! This is the week we’ve all been looking forward to — the Chiefs are finally playing the Rams.

This game was circled on my calendar from the start of the season, and it’s certain to live up to the billing. I can hardly contain my excitement!

Last week, we talked about the Chiefs defense having an opportunity to improve against the Cardinals, and they did just that. This week the Chiefs defense is going to need to hold the fort as much as possible because the Rams know how to score.

Here is the Rams overview:

Looks pretty similar to what the Chiefs have done so far this season; great offense with mediocre/bad defense.


1. 63.5

The above number is the Vegas point total between the Rams and the Chiefs — Everyone, including the brilliant minds who set the NFL lines, believes the Chiefs/Rams game will be a shootout.

Further to note, 63.5 is the largest NFL point total since the stat has been tracked starting in 1986. Long story short, this game is going to be a shootout.

So how have the Rams and Chiefs done in shootouts with their current head coach/quarterback pairings?

So, the Rams have played very well in shootouts with a 5-2 record, and the Chiefs are victims of a small sample size.

2. Touchdowns or lose

Since this game will be a shootout, for every drive either team doesn’t score a touchdown, their winning likelihood will be dropped significantly.

In terms of scoring the ball, the Chiefs have done a better job than the Rams thus far at getting the ball into the end zone.

The Rams have kicked a field goal on 20 percent of their drives, while the Chiefs have kicked field goals on 16 percent of their drives. In total, the Chiefs score in 57 percent of their drives while the Rams score in 54 percent of their drives.

So, in terms of scoring touchdowns more often (or scoring in general) the Chiefs have the advantage.

Let’s check the defensive side of the ball:

On defense, the Rams have a slight advantage.

This is a pattern I caught time and time again — The Chiefs offense is a little better than the Rams offense, and the Rams defense is a little better than the Chiefs defense.

If I had to put money on one team having the edge in regards to scoring percentages, I’d give the edge on the Chiefs’ side due to the Chiefs offense having more of a lead over the Rams offense than the Rams defense has a lead over the Chiefs defense.

3. Mistakes

In a tightly-contested game, miscues on either side of the ball can cause a team to lose. This is why turnovers and penalties will be huge on Monday night.

In terms of turning the ball over, the Rams have a slight advantage over the Chiefs. The Rams have done a great job taking care of the ball so far in 2018, and a single turnover by either team could be the difference in the game.

The penalties also sway in the Rams favor. When it comes to taking care of the ball and not accumulating penalties, the Rams have the clear advantage over the Chiefs.

Of course, I’m not going to leave you feeling entirely down in this section...

All that said, in tightly contested games, miscues can be the difference between winning and losing. If the Chiefs play a sloppy game in LA, they will probably lose.

I’ll be rooting for a clean game from the Chiefs.

4. Third down

I’ll repeat myself: Any time either team doesn’t score a touchdown in this game, they are greatly reducing their chances of winning.

So both teams are going to need to stay on the field and push the ball towards the end zone. This makes third down incredibly important in this game, more so than others.

We’ll take a look at Bill Connelly’s advanced stat guide to observe third down performance.

I know we’re talking about third down, but looking at the Chiefs defense, I’m suddenly interested in the Chiefs having success on first and second down — I say this because the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL when it comes to third-and-long.

However, the Rams are still a great offense when it comes to third-and-long, having the sixth-best success rate in the NFL. It’s going to be a dogfight on third-and-long, and the Chiefs should try and force the Rams into third-and-long situations.

Offensively, the Chiefs have had more success on third down than the Rams.

I’m surprised to see the Rams are the worst third-and-long team in the NFL — maybe that’s why they went and signed Dante Fowler.

The Rams strength, defensively, is on third-and-medium situations. The Chiefs are at the top of the league in nearly all third-down stats, so third-and-medium will be an interesting situation to follow during the game on Sunday for the Chiefs offense.

Ultimately, I see the Chiefs having the advantage on third down in this game, but it’s very close.

5. Sacks

I’ll be honest. I’m freaking out about Aaron Donald facing the Chiefs interior offensive line.

Yet again, both teams are incredibly close, with the Chiefs offense being slightly better than the Rams offense and the Rams defense being slightly better than the Chiefs defense.

Regarding the Rams pass rush, they recently added Dante Fowler Jr. into the mix, let’s see how that’s working thus far:

So far, the Rams haven’t seen any dividends from adding Fowler to their defense, but I’m sure that will change eventually. I’m just hoping it doesn’t change against the Chiefs!


This is a huge game, and like I said in the introduction, I am beyond pumped for this game.

What are your key stats heading into the game?