The Los Angeles Rams are facing a major uphill battle in their Week 12 matchup against one of, if not the biggest Super Bowl favorite, in the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even at full strength, the Chiefs are an extremely difficult team to beat with their high-powered offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. But with Matthew Stafford being ruled out due to being in the NFL’s concussion protocol with a neck issue, and the team already without star receiver Cooper Kupp, it would be a massive upset if the Rams could pull off the road victory.
Unfortunately, the Rams season is continuing to spiral downhill and the Chiefs will look to put the Rams even deeper in the hole while cementing themselves as the top seed in the AFC.
Rams Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
Head coach Sean McVay will have to be extremely creative in figuring out the best way to attack the Chiefs defense with Bryce Perkins at the helm. In his two seasons at Virginia, Perkins was a dual threat and he showed flashes of that in his appearance in New Orleans last week with 39 rushing yards on five carries.
Establishing the run with Cam Akers and Kyren Williams would seem to be the way to go in hopes of controlling the clock and keeping the Chiefs’ offense off the field. It would also help keep the Chiefs’ pass rush at bay as they rank in the top-10 in the NFL in both sacks and QB pressures. They also rank in the top-10 in blitz percentage so the Rams’ offensive line will have to be at its best despite all of the changes and mixing and matching.
But that will be easier said than done as the Chiefs’ defense ranks fifth against the run meaning the onus could be put on Perkins to make some plays with his arm. This means Allen Robinson and Tyler Higbee will need to find those open spots within this Chiefs defense and make life as easy as possible on the rookie quarterback.
Rams Defense vs. Chiefs Offense
Make no mistake, the Chiefs offense is a thing of beauty and every Rams defender will need to be at their best to hold them in check. The top priority is obviously figuring out a way to contain tight end Travis Kelce, but that has proven to be near impossible for years now.
The Chiefs will also be welcoming back receiver Juju Smith-Schuster from a concussion, and he has grown into a reliable weapon for Mahomes over the past few weeks. Additionally, the Chiefs’ run game has seen a boost the last couple of weeks with rookie Isaiah Pacheco taking over lead duties.
Getting to Mahomes on a regular basis has proven difficult, but nothing is impossible with Aaron Donald on the field. Creating pressure and turnovers is likely the Rams’ best path to success against this offensive juggernaut.
Keys to Victory
1. Make Bryce Perkins comfortable
In order to beat the Chiefs, the Rams must put up some points and 20 won’t be enough. The offensive coaching staff must figure out the best way to make Perkins comfortable and allow him to produce. Be it running the ball, incorporating RPOs or designed quarterback runs, the staff must adjust the game plan to fit his strengths.
2. Win the turnover battle
Even controlling the clock isn’t always enough against this Chiefs offense that can score in seconds. The defense must create some turnovers and give the offense a short field to lead to some easy points. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey will need to make some major plays if the Rams want to pull of the upset.