As the Kansas City Chiefs took the field against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon, oddsmakers were favoring them by more than two touchdowns. Their 26-10 victory met that test — but probably not the way Kansas City fans had expected.
By the end of the first half, the Chiefs were dominating the Rams statistically, but led only 13-3 after rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore muffed a punt — and Los Angeles fooled Kansas City with a fake punt near the end of the second quarter.
The Chiefs extended their lead to 20-3 with an Isiah Pacheco touchdown run in the third quarter, but then gave up a touchdown at the beginning of the fourth after a 14-play Rams drive that included two fourth-down conversions in Kansas City territory.
The Chiefs responded with a six-minute drive that ended when Patrick Mahomes was intercepted in the end zone. Two plays later, L’Jarius Sneed got the ball back by intercepting Bryce Perkins and returning it to the Rams’ 9-yard line. Kansas City extended their lead to 23-10 with a field goal — and then got the ball at the Rams’ 27 when Nick Bolton intercepted a tipped pass on the next drive. The following field goal iced the team’s 26-10 win.
The Rams won the opening coin toss and deferred their decision to the second half. That gave Kansas City the ball to begin the game; their first possession began at the 25-yard line after a touchback.
The game got going with a nine-yard run by starting running back Isiah Pacheco, which was followed by a first down on the next snap. Two plays later, they faced third-and-5 — but defensive tackle Aaron Donald forced an incompletion; it was the second he forced on the opening drive. The Chiefs settled for a punt.
Starting from inside their own five-yard line, the Rams started with two unsuccessful rush attempts. On third down, a pass at the sticks was denied by rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie — forcing a punt after the three and out. On the ensuing punt, rookie Skyy Moore muffed the punt for the third time this season, giving Los Angeles the ball back.
On the first play of their new possession, rookie defensive end George Karlaftis burst through the pass protection to earn his first full sack in the NFL. Two plays later, they faced third down — and a deep throw to the sideline barely fell incomplete in front of rookie cornerback Joshua Williams. The Rams were forced to punt near midfield.
Backed up at their own 10-yard line, Skyy Moore redeemed the muffed punt with an 18-yard completion on an out-and-up route that got the Chiefs to the 31-yard line. Two productive scrambles in the next three plays got the Chiefs into Los Angeles territory. A holding penalty on wide receiver Justin Watson set them back — but Mahomes negated it. Tight end Travis Kelce got away from cornerback Jalen Ramsey, finding space to score a 39-yard touchdown. The score was 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
On their next drive, a first-down run initially moved the chains for Los Angeles, but they quickly found themselves in another third down. Needing five yards to convert, the Rams called a timeout before running the play. Quarterback Bryce Perkins had to improvise after a pressure from defensive end Carlos Dunlap, barely getting the first down on the scramble. They pushed further into Kansas City territory, getting to the 26-yard line before facing third down with 11 yards to go. The Rams tried the draw play, but cornerback L’Jarius Sneed met the ball carrier in the backfield. The failed third down ended the first quarter.
To open the second period, the Rams attempted a field goal and made it — taking the score to 7-3 in favor of Kansas City.
The Chiefs’ offense picked up where it left off, getting two first downs quickly with completions to Moore and Watson. Mahomes then uncorked a deep throw to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling — who fought through defensive holding to be in position for a huge catch — but could not hang onto the ball. The Chiefs called their first timeout after they got a new set of downs.
The Chiefs got to the red zone with a dump-off to running back Ronald Jones, who gained 22 yards on his first touch of the season. He rushed for three yards on the next play. On the ensuing third down, Kansas City needed seven yards — and Mahomes got 13 with a wide-open scramble. Right guard Trey Smith nullified a touchdown with a penalty on the next play, which snowballed into a third-and-goal from the nine-yard line. A third consecutive incompletion led to a Kansas City field goal, pushing their lead to 10-3.
From their own 25-yard line, the Rams started with a penalty for delay of game, then called their second timeout before the second play of the drive. A short gain made it third-and-nine, and Perkins found space to gain 10 yards and convert. The Rams got behind the sticks right away on their next set of downs, with linebacker Nick Bolton making a tackle for loss. Two plays later, the Rams needed five yards on third down — and could only get one on a quarterback run because of great penetration by the entire Chiefs’ defense. Los Angeles lined up to punt, but they executed a fake with a pass in front of gunner Trent McDuffie.
Near midfield, the Rams used their new life to try and tie up the game — but defensive tackle Chris Jones set back their plans immediately with a first-down sack. They faced third down a few snaps later, and Perkins only gained two of the 11 yards needed. The Chiefs’ defense forced a fourth down for the second time in the same possession.
From their own four-yard line, the Chiefs’ offense got going with a 21-yard completion to Valdes-Scantling — finding space between the cornerback and safety on the sideline. Two plays later, Valdes-Scantling moved the chains again on a sideline pass. It took the game into the two-minute warning.
The Chiefs got past midfield, getting to the Rams’ 33-yard line with under a minute to go — but a holding call on left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. set Kansas City back. Mahomes made up for it with a laser down the middle to tight end Jody Fortson, getting back every yard they needed and setting them up at the 14-yard line with under 30 seconds to go. Mahomes found Valdes-Scantling to move the chains — but the ball popped out of his hands for the second time in the first half. The Chiefs settled for a field goal, taking a 13-3 lead.
A kneeldown by the Rams led to halftime, where Kansas City still held the 10-point advantage.
The Rams began the second half with the ball at the 25-yard line after a touchback. A short run and an incompletion set up third down, where a scrambling Perkins avoided tackle after tackle before finally being sacked by safety Bryan Cook for a five-yard loss. It was a quick three and out for the Chiefs’ defense to begin the second half.
The Chiefs’ offense took over and got things going with an out-of-structure completion to Skyy Moore. Soon after, two short gains set up a third down with three yards to go. Mahomes converted with a dump off to running back Jerick McKinnon. They got another set of downs on a Ronald Jones run. 17 more yards were gained on a pass to Pacheco, who ran an angle route from the slot alignment. Three plays later, Pacheco was punching the ball into the end zone from three yards out — extending the Chiefs’ lead to 20-3.
The Rams looked to answer, starting with a 16-yard strike to wide receiver Van Jefferson to start the drive. Two snaps later, the Rams faced third and one after a nine-yard run — converting with a two-yard quarterback sneak. They soon ran into another third down, failing to convert with a batted down pass by Sneed, blitzing off the left edge. It put the Rams in fourth down, and they moved the chains with a short completion to beat the blitz.
At the Chiefs’ 30-yard line, the Rams continued finding space with a 15-yard completion to wide receiver Tutu Atwell. A forced incompletion by Trent McDuffie followed, setting up second and 10 in the red zone. It was third and eight after a short run — and a pass short of the sticks turned it into fourth and two. Their conversion attempt would come in the fourth quarter.
Facing a fourth and one, the Rams dropped back and found Jefferson on a slant route — beating McDuffie for a touchdown. The point-after attempt made it 20-10 in favor of the Chiefs.
Trying to put the game out of reach, the Chiefs’ offense drove down the field — getting first downs twice by way of a completion to wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. Then, Mahomes unloaded and found Valdes-Scantling deep; the receiver secured a contested catch to gain 23 yards and set up shop at the Chargers’ 22-yard line. Two consecutive completions to Kelce moved the chains again. From inside the 10, the Chiefs got into third and goal. Mahomes was corralled for a sack — but Aaron Donald was called for a facemask penalty.
With a new set of downs, the Chiefs tried a trick play — Skyy Moore throwing back to Mahomes, who tried to find Kelce in the end zone. After that incompletion, Mahomes moved up in the pocket to throw a touchdown, but the pass went straight to a defender for an interception and a touchback for Los Angeles.
The Rams looked to make it a game, but L’Jarius Sneed had other plans. He leaped to intercept the second-down pass, returning the ball to the Rams’ nine-yard line.
Another red zone opportunity for the Chiefs’ offense, another failure. Kansas City went three plays without a score, settling for the field goal. The score was extended to 23-10 with under seven minutes to go.
The Rams had just over six minutes to tighten the game to a one-score lead — but another interception ended that momentum. Carlus Dunlap tipped up a pass, and linebacker Nick Bolton secured the pick and set the Chiefs up at the Los Angeles 27-yard line.
The Chiefs tried to eat the rest of the clock, getting into third and two after two runs. The third run barely moved the chains. Pacheco kept touting the rock, getting carry after carry into the two-minute warning.
Two more runs out of the intermission gained only two yards, setting up another field goal kick on fourth down. It was good, and the Chiefs’ held a 26-10 lead with under two minutes to go.
The Rams looked to cover more of the current point spread, chipping away down the field as the clock ticked below a minute. The Rams started to approach midfield by the time the clock reached 15 seconds — and the time ran out after the completion. The Chiefs won 26-10.
Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed stayed down after a play in the second quarter. He left the field and was spotted going into the blue medical tent. It was later reported that Sneed went to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion — but he was on the field when the Chiefs’ defense took the field in the second half.
Linebacker Willie Gay and safety Bryan Cook both got up slow after a collision in the third quarter; Cook was in the blue medical tent soon after. Cook returned to the field later in the same possession he went out.
Safety Deon Bush came out of a fourth-quarter kickoff holding his right arm. He reportedly went straight to the medical table with an athletic trainer.
Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend’s first punt traveled 49 yards, then landed inside the 10-yard line. It was his only punt of the evening.
Rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore muffed the first punt of the game, giving Los Angeles the ball back. He was replaced by wide receiver Justin Watson on the next punt-return attempt, who fair caught the punt he saw.
Kicker Harrison Butker converted his first point-after attempt. In the second quarter, he converted a 27-yard field goal — then right before halftime, Butker nailed a 32-yard attempt. In the third quarter, Butker made his second point-after attempt. Late in the fourth quarter, Butker made his third and fourth field goal attempts — both 22-yard kicks.
|Yards per play||3.6||6.1|
|Yards per rush||4.10||3.90|
|Passing Gross Yards||106||320|
|Passing Net Yards||82||320|
|Yards per pass||3.00||7.60|
|Rushing first downs||5||6|
|Passing first downs||8||20|
|Penalty first downs||0||3|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||5/13/38%||5/11/45%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||3/3/100%||0/0/0%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||0/0/0%||1/5/20%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||1/1/100%||1/6/17%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||1/1||2/2|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||1/1||4/4|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||45.0||49.0|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||45.0||49.0|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||0||41|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||1/0|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||3/78||0/0|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||1/0||2/41|
|Time of Possession||27:34||32:26|
|Ronald Jones II||4||12||3.0||0||5|
|Ronald Jones II||1||22||22.0||0||22||1||23|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|RAMS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|Carlos Dunlap II||3||1||2||0.0||0.0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|David Long Jr.||2||1||1||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Bobby Brown III||1||0||1||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|CHIEFS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|RAMS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|RAMS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|