What to watch for: With one notable exception, the Chiefs dominate their NFC opponents. The Chiefs won their past 13 regular-season games against NFC teams dating to a 2019 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, a game in which Patrick Mahomes did not play because of injury. The Chiefs are 2-0 this year against the NFC, beating the Cardinals and 49ers by a combined 44 points. The Chiefs did lose Super Bowl LV to the Bucs in the middle of this streak, though. Meanwhile, the Rams are 0-1 this season against AFC opponents, having lost to the Bills. — Adam Teicher
Bold prediction: Kyren Williams will lead the running backs in touches. Although Cam Akers led the Rams’ trio of running backs in rushing in Week 11 against the Saints, Williams led in offensive snaps, playing 35 compared to Akers’ 25 and Darrell Henderson Jr.’s 4. Henderson was waived Tuesday, further freeing up snaps and touches. — Sarah Barshop
Stat to know: Mahomes is 19-3 in his career as a starter in Week 12 or later, the best record among QBs to debut in the Super Bowl era (since 1966), minimum 20 starts. He’s 10-1 in his career at home in Week 12 or later, with the only regular-season loss in 2018 Week 15 against the Chargers.
This week’s “By The Numbers” takes a look at Kelce’s quest for 10,000 yards and the historic pace he’s on as he seeks the single-season record for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns for tight ends. Kelce might be the greatest tight end ever when his career is over.
Most receiving yards by TE — NFL history
Tony Gonzalez — 15,127
Jason Witten — 13,046
Antonio Gates — 11,841
Shannon Sharpe — 10,060
Travis Kelce — 9,861
Most receptions by TE — NFL history
Tony Gonzalez — 1,325
Jason Witten — 1,228
Antonio Gates — 955
Shannon Sharpe — 815
Travis Kelce — 773
Most receiving TD by TE — NFL history
Antonio Gates — 116
Tony Gonzalez — 111
Rob Gronkowski — 92
Jimmy Graham — 85
Jason Witten — 74
Travis Kelce — 68
4. Limit Explosives and Take Away the Big Play
The Chiefs currently lead the NFL in creating explosive plays on offense. Patrick Mahomes could make almost any coach look good. However, Andy Reid’s ability to adjust his offense and scheme explosive plays while NFL defenses are looking to take that away shows just how good of a head coach he is.
Sometimes Mahomes can look for the big play too often which can get him in trouble. The Rams need to be able to force Mahomes to check the ball underneath. Their best chance is to frustrate Mahomes with interior pressure and then force him into mistakes while he tries to do too much.
The Rams defense has given up too many explosive plays over the last few weeks. If the Chiefs start gaining yards in 20-yard chunks, it’s going to be a long day on defense.
5. Keep it Simple for Bryce Perkins
The Rams aren’t going to win a drop=back passing game with Bryce Perkins. McVay needs to scheme up a game plan as if he’s working with a rookie. McVay needs to keep things simple and utilize Perkins’ mobility. The Rams need to run play-action bootlegs to cut the field in half and keep Perkins’ reads as simple as possible.
This isn’t a game where the Rams can line up in empty and expect Perkins to win the game with his arm. Perkins is a different style of quarterback that we’ve typically seen with McVay. With a full week of practice and game planning, we’re going to see just how creative McVay can be.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Jahmyr Gibbs RB
ALABAMA • JR • 5’11” / 200 LBS
While Kansas City may have lost a lot in wide receiver Tyreek Hill, it can supplement the roster as a whole by adding multiple players capable of matching that lost production. Gibbs has an Alvin Kamara-like skill set that Andy Reid should have no problem maximizing.
Around the NFL
Quarterback Kyler Murray (hamstring) appears ready to return to action, coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters Friday. Receiver Marquise Brown is also expected to be back on the field after missing the last five weeks due to a stay on injured reserve.
“Looks good. Yeah, looks that way,” Kingsbury said of Murray. “He’s had a good week. He got some full-speed reps today, looked sharp. We’re excited.”
Murray could take one more week plus Arizona’s Week 13 bye to be certain he’s ready to return from an injury that tends to nag, but Kingsbury said the quarterback is tired of waiting and knows his 4-7 team could use his talents.
“Yeah, we had talked about it, but obviously he was anxious to get back,” Kingsbury said. “He feels great, feels 100 percent. If there was anything less than that we would have maybe waited, but he feels full-go.”
Fox Sports, which aired the game, delivered the news.
NEW RECORD ALERT @NFLonFOX's Thanksgiving coverage of #NYGvsDAL ranks as the most-watched regular season game on any network on record with 42 million viewers.— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) November 25, 2022
Up +49% over last year's game on FOX and up +3% over last year's comparable window.
NY: 11.2/38 | DAL: 24.5/69 pic.twitter.com/EN0jXKMJsC
There were numerous reasons this game was so popular, aside from the Thanksgiving tradition of watching football.
For starters, the Giants and Cowboys are popular teams who call the No. 1 and No. 5 media markets in the United States home, respectively.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. The running back room
Outside of the Week 4 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5), the last two weeks were the Chiefs’ highest rushing-yardage totals of the season. They were also the two games rookie running back Isiah Pacheco has played the most this year.
With original starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire now on injured reserve, Pacheco’s plate may be even more filled up — but his role may be tweaked a bit. Jerick McKinnon is the team’s best pass-down back, but now he’s the only reliable one — so Pacheco may have to be tested more in those spots to keep it unpredictable; last week, he was run over in pass protection to allow a sack on his only pass block of the game.
This could also be the first showcase for running back Ronald Jones, who earned a spot on the initial 53-man roster by looking explosive as a downhill runner in the third preseason game. Jones can break off a big run in similar ways as Pacheco, but one of them is in a rhythm while the other has been on ice.
It’s hard to imagine Jones is inactive this game. Watch to see how much he’s utilized, and how much it impacts the roles of the other two backs.