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AFC Game Of The Week

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams

Chiefs: I really think they’re a better team now after they lost that game to the New England Patriots back in October and I can explain exactly what I mean by that. Prior to their only loss of the season, the Chiefs offense, of course was lights out and single-handedly destroying everything in their path. It was their defense that was really struggling to get off the field and for years, the roles had been switched because it was always the defense who would dominate the game and the running game along with a game-managing quarterback would just have to control the clock on offense. Now, the defense is starting to round into form. Justin Houston is back which gives them the pass rush they’ve lacked throughout the season and all around, the Chiefs have played better as a team and they aren’t just depending on the offense to win them each game and the defense has put themselves back in the top ten of defensive rankings with their stellar play. They were at the bottom of every statistical category early on, but now, they’ve regrouped and it’s shown. At the moment, they are 9-1 and with the Patriots losing in Tennessee, they are atop the AFC and if the postseason started today, the Chiefs would have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and the road to Atlanta in the AFC would travel through Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs will look to become the first team in the league to reach ten wins on Monday night in Mexico City when they face their once in-state rivals.

Rams: They got back to the winning side of things in week ten, but since that game against the Green Bay Packers, they haven’t looked as sharp as they did early on in the year and I think it’s safe to say they’ve been somewhat exposed. I’ll be completely honest here, I’m not sold on their defense like I was when the season got here because they really struggle to make stops, rush the passer and get off the field. Look at these numbers in their last three games. They gave up 27 to the Packers and just escaped that one, 45 to the Saints and that was their first loss of the season and 31 on Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks and if this defense doesn’t regroup for Wade Phillips soon, their season will come to an end the minute the calendar hits January. Despite that, they are 9-1, closing in on winning the NFC West for the second consecutive year and if they want to get to the Super Bowl, they’ll have to do it without one of the most important players in Cooper Kupp who was lost for the season after tearing his ACL and this is a big loss for them because he’s that safety valve for Jared Goff along with being that reliable target down the field and over the middle and he’s your typical chain mover. Right now, Todd Gurley would be my choice for the offensive player of the year and this would be his second time winning it and what he does with the football just amazes me. He’s the best running back in the National Football League and he makes that offense go in Los Angeles. As a runner, you see what he does but what makes him dangerous is when he’s able to get the ball as a receiver and how he works in space. This begins the stretch run of the season and this one won’t be easy against a Kansas City team that’s rolling right now.

Chiefs Player To Watch: Kareem Hunt– Teams are really beginning to clamp down and doing everything they can to stop Mahomes and I remember saying when that time came, they would need to lean n the running game more and they have. The Seahawks established the running game and ran for 274 yards on Sunday against the Rams, what on earth makes you think that the Chiefs can’t run the ball with Kareem Hunt?

Rams Player To Watch: Tyler Higbee- With Kupp done for the season, expect him to shoulder some more responsibility in the passing game and he’ll have big shoes to fill, but he needs to be that other weapon behind Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods.

Final Analysis: Finally, a good game worth discussing on Monday Night Football! Both teams are tied with the best record in the league at 9-1 and have a combined record of 18-2. This is a battle of two young quarterbacks and some high-flying skill players. Ultimately, this game will come down to who runs the football better meaning the team who is establishing the ground attack more consistently will be the one who will win this game and this one also features two of the best at the position in Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt. I really need to see this Rams defense regroup because they haven’t looked good in their last three games so they need to get back to the basics and right now, they’re doing the little things wrong. Getting beat at the line of scrimmage, the linebackers are struggling and the secondary really misses Talib.

Prediction: Chiefs 38 Rams 34