In Week 11, all but one of Arrowhead Pride’s contributors thought the Kansas City Chiefs would defeat the Los Angeles Chargers. And after turning in a season-best group prediction for the Week 10 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, we outdid ourselves: our aggregate prediction of a 31-24 Kansas City win over the Chargers was only eight points removed from the 30-27 final, making it yet another season-best pick. Our readers were right in line with us: 49% thought it would be a close win for the Chiefs.
Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.
Price Carter (@priceacarter)
Let’s be real: the Chiefs are winning this game. Here’s the question: can Kansas City make this a comfortable win? Under head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs seem to hold back more than any other NFL team; they’ll run a vanilla offense and defense for a whole game, hoping the talent differential will be enough to close the gap. But it would be nice if this game wasn’t close. I’m looking for a defensive score. If undrafted quarterback Bryce Perkins starts, he’ll be starting his first-ever game in Arrowhead. The defense needs to dominate an offense with a nobody at quarterback and no weapons on offense. Additionally, it would be great to see Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes get some statistical padding from a depleted Rams secondary. This game shouldn’t be close — and honestly, the Chiefs are going to decide how comfortably they’d like to win.
Chiefs 31, Rams 13
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
Do you remember the days when we circled this matchup as a potential game of the year? How silly do we look now? Injuries aside, the Rams have been a mess this season — and appear to be paying the price for going all-in during recent years. Has a Lombardi Trophy been sufficient compensation? Chiefs by a lot.
Chiefs 41, Rams 19
Nate Christensen (@natech32)
I’m sure the NFL is upset that this game now has so little intrigue. The Rams had an extremely top-heavy roster — and with all the injuries on their offense, it’s no longer a functional unit. Their defense has talent — but not enough to stop the Chiefs. I just see no way the Rams score more than 14 points in this game. Against the Kansas City offense, that’s just not going to be enough.
Chiefs 30, Rams 9
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
This is one of those times where I feel like I should mention that point spreads aren’t meant to predict the score — although they often come close. Instead, they are designed to put an equal of money on both sides of the bet; that’s how the house makes the most money. But this season, just 22% of the NFL’s games have been decided by 15 or more points. In 2021, 34% of the league’s games met that description. So yeah... Kansas City could crush Los Angeles. But the Rams are still going to show up and play — and garbage time is still... you know... a thing.
Chiefs 31, Rams 20
Maurice Elston (@recenickelz)
When this game first appeared on the schedule, many thought we would be in for the shootout that we saw last time the Chiefs and Rams faced off. That game ended as a 54-51 Los Angeles victory. I doubt that this time around, that’s what we’ll get. Los Angeles has been hit with the injury bug — and honestly, the team wasn’t that good before the injuries happened. But this is the NFL, so anything can happen on any given Sunday. I just don’t expect it to be this Sunday. The Rams simply don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Chiefs.
Chiefs 35, Rams 17
Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)
These are not the same Rams who won the Super Bowl just nine months ago. They have been plagued with injuries and are almost eliminated from playoff contention — and with a lack of draft capital available to them, their prospects for the future aren’t perking anyone up, either. That is only the beginning. They will be without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Chiefs have won four games in a row and the Rams have dropped four in a row. However, any given Sunday is more than a cliché; you can never take any NFL team — especially one with defensive tackle Aaron Donald — for granted. Head coach Andy Reid knows what the No. 1 AFC playoff seed means; he knows win is vital to maintain Kansas City’s lead over the Buffalo Bills in the playoff race. Patrick Mahomes is in the thick of the MVP chatter — and a bell-to-bell thumping of the Rams will keep him in those conversations.
Chiefs 34, Rams 21
Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)
This was supposed to be one of the marquee games on the Kansas City schedule. Now it’s a game in which the Chiefs are overwhelming favorites. The Rams will be without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and superstar wideout Cooper Kupp. Yes, Los Angeles still has Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey on the other side of the ball — but in Week 11, the Andy Dalton-led Saints put up 27 points against the Rams. This should be a game where Patrick Mahomes and his offensive starters are resting in the fourth quarter.
Chiefs 38, Rams 10
Zach Gunter (@ZachGunter08)
What is this game? I have no idea how to read it. Either the Chiefs win by three or by 30. The spread is huge and the Over/Under is 41.5. Vegas obviously knows something we don't — and I don't like that.
Chiefs 35, Rams 10
Conner Helm (@ArrowheadConner)
The Chiefs are huge favorites at Arrowhead. I’m sure the Los Angeles defense will attempt to slow down the Kansas City offense — but there is no way that the current Rams offense can score enough points to keep up. I believe that midway through the fourth quarter, we see backup quarterback Chad Henne on the field. The Chiefs win big.
Chiefs 31, Rams 7
Ashley Justice (@Justice_Paur88)
If they are to have any hope for survival this season, the Rams must win on Sunday. The Super Bowl hangover has led to an abysmal season — and I don’t think Sunday’s game will turn the tide. Meanwhile, the Chiefs need a win to maintain control of the top of the AFC after Buffalo narrowly beat the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. This doesn’t feel like a terribly exciting game — and it certainly means more to Los Angeles than it does to Kansas City. Aaron Donald will make his presence known — as he always does — but if the Chiefs can ward him off, they’ll be that much closer to victory. With Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp out of the game, the Kansas City defense should have a field day against the Los Angeles offense.
Chiefs 38, Rams 17
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
It’s just this simple: the Rams are too banged-up to beat the Chiefs. They have the stars on the defensive side of the ball, but they lack of defensive depth to hold down the Chiefs’ offense. On the flip side, the Los Angeles offense was already bad — and then it lost its starting quarterback and one of the best wide receivers in football. I see Kansas City sleepwalking to a win — with the Rams scoring in garbage time to make the score tighter.
Chiefs 31, Rams 18
Aaron Ladd (aaronladd0)
America’s Game of the Week feels lopsided on paper. Coming off one of the more electric wins of its season, Kansas City looks poised to hold on to the conference’s top spot. The connection between Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce seems stronger than ever — and despite some injuries to key pass-catchers, the Chiefs’ offense rolls merrily along. What about the defending Super Bowl champs? Through 12 weeks, they’re unrecognizable. No Stafford plus no Kupp equals no problem for Kansas City at home.
Chiefs 35, Rams 14
Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)
When you trade draft capital to buy a championship, the bill eventually comes due. Thankfully for the Rams, they got their Lombardi Trophy before they went belly up. Unfortunately for them, they have an aging quarterback with a bum shoulder — who will now miss this game with a concussion. This is just the tip of the Rams’ iceberg of problems. Even when Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp were healthy, they weren’t going to beat the Chiefs. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey aren’t enough to beat a minor-league outfit like the Raiders — let alone a Super Bowl contender like Kansas City. It’s going to be a massacre. The Chiefs cover the huge point spread in their sleep.
Chiefs 38, Rams 13
Ricko Mendoza (@ricko_mendoza_)
All signs point to the Chiefs getting a blowout win against the Rams. Kansas City is a huge home favorite after winning 24 straight November and December games. Patrick Mahomes is playing at an MVP level, while Los Angeles may be starting their third-string quarterback. Although the Rams’ defense still has plenty of talent, their injury-ravaged offense will struggle to score against a surging Kansas City defense that has recorded five sacks in each of their last two games. Assuming the NFL parity gods don’t send thunderbolts from above, I’ll go with the conventional wisdom: the Chiefs easily win their fifth consecutive game.
Chiefs 35, Rams 20
Stan Nelson (@chiefsfanstan)
After their win against the always-tough Chargers, the Chiefs have once again ascended the ladder to become the toast of the town. In the meantime, the Rams are suffering from that dreaded Super Bowl slump, finding themselves dead last in their division at 3-7. This is a classic case of two teams going in opposite directions. If Kansas City continues to play as it has been, this game could develop into a blowout. Assuming the Chiefs are not taking this game for granted, I see them winning by double digits.
Chiefs 38, Rams 20
Tom Ruprecht (@truprecht)
When I heard Bryce Perkins described as “mobile,” I felt a wave of fear. A mobile quarterback with very little film the Chiefs could analyze? Could he be one of these “one-hit wonder” quarterbacks who come in and dazzle for a game? I was relieved to hear that John Wolford might play the bulk of the snaps. Mahomes should feast on the Rams’ banged-up secondary. Cooper Kupp’s loss is obviously devastating for Los Angeles. I can see Perkins having a couple of big plays in a limited role — and Akers and Williams may put up big rushing numbers. But I also see a comfortable Kansas City win.
Chiefs 35, Rams 21
Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)
There is absolutely no way the Chiefs lose this game — especially since Matthew Stafford is going to be out. If it is John Wolford or Bryce Perkins, neither is a match for Patrick Mahomes. The Rams’ defense will have to play big in order for them to even try to hang with the Chiefs. What I will be watching for is the battle between Chris Jones and Aaron Donald.
Chiefs 30, Rams 13
Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)
From quarterback to running game to offensive line, the Rams do not field anything resembling an NFL offense. The defense retains a strong reputation — but has just allowed offenses led by Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton to hang 27 points on them in consecutive weeks. I see the Chiefs getting out to something like a 28-3 lead and then coasting — as Los Angeles gets at least one garbage-time score against Kansas City’s backups late in the game. As an out-of-market viewer, I fully expect my local FOX station to shift to the New Orleans Saints at the San Francisco 49ers before the third quarter comes to an end.
Chiefs 31, Rams 10
Nick Schwerdt (@nick_schwerdt)
It’s not a typo: the Chiefs are favored by more than two touchdowns against the defending Super Bowl champion. The Rams’ title run was spearheaded by Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp — neither of whom will be available for this matchup. But considering how bad the Los Angeles offense has been even when they were healthy, it seems almost irrelevant. The defending champs’ wheels have fallen off. Now the Rams stand in the way of an Imperial Death Star offense led by Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. I think this could get ugly.
Chiefs 38, Rams 14
Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)
This Rams team is nowhere close to the team that won the Super Bowl last season. Even with Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp in the lineup, Los Angeles was fielding one of the worst offenses in football. Now that both will miss the game, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where the Rams find a way to keep pace with the Chiefs. This is a year that Los Angeles would like to forget.
Chiefs 31, Rams 13
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
It’s an uneasy feeling to be a fan of a double-digit favorite. The Chiefs and Rams are having seasons that are mirror images of each other. Kansas City has won four straight and six out of seven — while Los Angeles has lost four straight and six out of seven. The Chiefs have the best quarterback in the league, while the Rams could be starting a relatively unknown third-string guy. Any Given Sunday aside, Mahomes and his offense should absolutely roll in this game. Once the offense has built a lead, coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense should be able to pressure and contain the Rams’ backup (or backup backup) quarterback, holding Los Angeles to under 20 points. Skyy Moore should get more opportunities — even with JuJu Smith-Schuster back in the mix. Isiah Pacheco should also get plenty of chances to show he’s got staying power. The Chiefs should cover the spread, but I think most of us won’t feel comfortable until they have built a lead. Once they do, the Rams won’t be able to come back. But if Kansas City lets them hang around — or get ahead — this could get more interesting than we’d like.
Chiefs 35, Rams 19
Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)
Enjoy this one, Chiefs Kingdom. It should be the least-hyped (and least stressful) game day of the entire season — or at least until the team travels to play the Houston Texans next month. Don’t expect the Chiefs’ sharpest performance; they can coast to victory even by playing a B-level game. The defense will have another confidence-building day.
Chiefs 30, Rams 13
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
After a one-hit-wonder Super Bowl title, the Rams are down and out with little to play fo.\r. Regardless of all the injuries on both sides, this is the current unanimous 2022 MVP against a third-string quarterback. That’s all the analysis you need.
Chiefs 34, Rams 20
Dakota Watson (@dwatson_56)
The Rams are the most lifeless defending Super Bowl champion I can remember. They come into town riddled with injuries. While their strategy of sacrificing draft capital for the short term has paid off, now they’re paying the price. Nothing about facing this team scares me. Normally, I’m a guy who fears an opponent’s backup quarterback — but in this scenario, there are no other offensive weapons to fear. The Chiefs should get an early lead — and then the pass rush will be able to feast on either John Wolford or Bryce Perkins. If Chiefs Kingdom is still eating their Thanksgiving leftovers, they’ll be in their tryptophan-induced nap by the third quarter.
Chiefs 40, Rams 18
Which team wins Rams (3-7) at Chiefs (8-2)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
Chiefs in a easy win (8-13 points)
Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
Rams in a close game
Rams in an easy win
Rams in a blowout
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Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
In Week 11, four staffers had only two points of error: John Dixon, Talon Graff and Pete Sweeney all turned in 31-27 picks, while Conner Helm went with 30-28. Then Ricko Mendoza’s 28-25 pick had just four points of error. For the Jaguars game, there were 10 predictions that were off by 12 or fewer points. For the Chargers matchup, there were 13!