On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs face the Los Angeles Rams. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored to win. We welcome Evan Craig of Turf Show Times — our sister SBNation site covering the Rams — for Five Questions with the Enemy.
1. Have the Rams suffered from going all-in? Worth it, right?
They have suffered mightily from going all-in — but of course, it’s worth it. They won a Lombardi Trophy with that strategy, right? I will say it was worth it — but only in the present. Mortgaging a team’s future for current success is risky business. Few teams around the NFL have followed suit to build anything that resembles what the Rams have. Some have been successful, while others have been major busts (looking at you, Mr. Cheesy Subway Spokesman residing in the Mile High City). It was fun to see the Rams launch a trend but there are clear flaws in constructing a team in such a reckless manner if those moves don’t pan out. That also should be pretty obvious to see by now. Personally, the Super Bowl was fun and all, but I’d rather see players who grow up in a team’s culture rather than have one solely manufactured through free agency and blockbuster trades. Most of these competent organizations are so hellbent on winning a title that they’re willing to sell their soul for a ring. There just seems to be something that is lost in going all-in — such as not having enough homegrown talent. It creates unnecessary pressure until it’s time to tear everything down and start over if it doesn’t work. The Rams can boast about going all-in as much as they’d like. After their title run, they’ve earned the right. It was clearly worth it — but it’s costing them severely in 2022.
2. Without Cooper Kupp, who can step up for the Rams in the passing game? Who would you back for an anytime touchdown player prop?
Allen Robinson is the best bet to step up for the Rams — and is the only pass catcher besides Tyler Higbee I would back for an anytime touchdown player prop. Moments like these are what L.A. signed ARob for. He has largely disappointed during his first season with the team — but he scored a touchdown last week and was fairly productive up until Stafford exited the game with his injury. I also hope that Tutu Atwell can step up, as he has speed to burn — and both his receptions this season have come on monster gains in the deep passing game. I’ve been arguing for the young players to be given more opportunities, because what else does L.A. really have to lose at this point besides the rest of their games? Throw in some reps in for Tutu and preseason MVP Lance McCutcheon and call it a day.
3. How do you expect the Rams to attack the Chiefs defense?
With Matthew Stafford out — and the Rams [possibly] turning to a quarterback making his first career start — I expect the offense to lean more on the rushing attack. Cam Akers had a somewhat decent game last week against the New Orleans Saints. He will likely handle the bulk of the carries following the shocking release of Darrell Henderson. I also expect some read option and designed quarterback runs with Perkins as he presents a dual-threat the Rams haven’t had in a signal-caller during the McVay era. If L.A. can rely more on the short passing game — and maintain sustained drives to keep Mahomes off the field — it’s possible they can keep this thing closer than expected. Not saying they can win, since a quarterback making his first-ever start in a hostile environment is a lot to ask from a young player. But knowing how Sean has called games this season, Perkins will probably throw 60 times and the team will combine for 10 runs or something ridiculous like that. This was the same guy that had John Wolford throw almost 40 passes in his lone start the last time Stafford was out. John Freaking Wolford!
4. Who has been an unsung hero for the Rams this year?
Does Matthew Stafford count for putting up with such a dismal offensive line for as long as he could? The sad fact is that no one has really stood out for the team this year for extended periods of time. I honestly can’t think of anyone off the top of my head. Perhaps their overall poor play has overshadowed any potential standouts on this team — which has been unfortunate. If there is an unsung hero on this roster, I would love for them to show their face at some point — preferably before the Rams are eliminated from playoff contention.
5. Kansas City is a 14.5 point favorite on DraftKings. Do you think this is fair given the injuries? How do you expect this game to play out?
It’s absolutely fair — given how poorly the Rams have played this season. L.A. hasn’t found an identity on offense and I don’t expect it to change this week against Kansas City. If it does, then hell has likely frozen over — and back to the Super Bowl they go. All jokes aside, I fully expect this to be quite an ugly game for the Rams. It has the potential to be one of the worst blowouts ever experienced under Sean McVay. This probably won’t be another 54-51 final.
Chiefs 38 Rams 13