Short-Handed Rams Fall to the Chiefs

Impressive defense and surprising offense kept the Rams from getting blown out by the Chiefs. A look at just how they managed that.

Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Van Jefferson Photo Credit: Jeff Spaur
Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Van Jefferson Photo Credit: Jeff Spaur

If there was one moment in today’s Rams game that encapsulated the Rams’ season it was the moment that Sean McVay took a helmet to the face by one of his own players. Luckily McVay was fine but it was a self-inflicted wound that will be gif’d up until the end of time. Much like the season itself.

The Los Angeles Rams lost 26-10 to the Chiefs to fall to 3-8. Which sucks but at the same time it wasn’t the bloodletting that many had convinced themselves it would be prior to kickoff. The Chiefs BARELY covered against a team starting its 3rd string quarterback and missing its top two receivers on offense and starting its 11th different offensive line combination in as many games.

Patrick Mahomes and that explosive Chiefs offense should’ve won by twice as many points but the Rams defense came to play. They actually had to make the Chiefs work for it. Offensively, there were a few bright spots but ultimately, today showed that Bryce Perkins is still very green. Luckily, he has a month to prove himself and show he could be a viable backup to Matthew Stafford or in the event Stafford retires, could be the stop-gap while they transition into a new era.

The Rams Defense

The defense came to play! Yes, they still allowed a big Travis Kelce touchdown. And yes, there were the same annoying gains in the middle of the field, BUT the defense was able to clamp down at times. The Chiefs have the best red zone offense in the league and were held to three field goals and a touchdown in the second half.

The Rams broke their interception drought in the fourth quarter when Nick Scott picked off Mahomes in the end zone. They couldn’t get any sacks but Aaron Donald was able to generate a pass rush despite being triple-teamed and held on just about every play. This all might sound like grasping straws and it is, but at the same time the defense at least put up a fight.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t get out of their own way at times. Taylor Rapp and Jalen Ramsey got burnt on the Kelce touchdown, Ernest Jones missed tackles, Donald got a face mask that otherwise would’ve ended a drive, and they really got gashed in the middle of the field. Also, Derion Kendrick got picked on like he was one of the Popli kids at Springfield Elementary, and it raised the question of why Cobie Durant wasn’t in instead. Still, despite their self owns, they did what they could to keep the Rams in the game deep in the fourth quarter. Sadly, the offense as has been the case all year couldn’t rise to the occasion.

The Rams Offense

Bryce Perkins (13/23, 100 yards, 1 TD, 2 picks) played like a third-string QB. McVay really tried to make the run game happen but was forced to throw the ball and it was clear why he was so conservative. That’s not to say it was all Perkins’ fault. His line was woefully overmatched all day. Matt Skura wasn’t a massive upgrade over Bobby Evans and Perkins had to make things happen under duress. He did lead the team in rushing with 44 yards. His fourth-quarter touchdown to Van Jefferson (3 catches, 29 yards 1 TD) was beautiful, unfortunately, that was as good as it got all day.

Following Nick Scott‘s pick, Perkins gave it right back to Kansas City and on the next drive regifted it to the Chiefs all but sealing the game. It was asking a lot for him to come out and all of a sudden spark the offense to something resembling watchable.

That said, there were some good things too. Kyren Williams (35 yards rushing 25 yards receiving) proved he has a bright future ahead of him. He is a dual threat and on top of that was a key blocker on the Jefferson touchdown. Cam Akers (37 yards) had some burst today as well so maybe just maybe he and Williams can be a complementary pair in the backfield. Van led the team in receiving (albeit with 29 yards) and while he had some errors today, he looked like he’s at least ready for a bigger target share.

He’ll have to because Allen Robinson is out for the year now. Lance McCutcheon went out with a shoulder injury so things are REALLY dark at receiver.

Rams Special Teams

Special teams had a good day. They recovered a Skyy Moore fumble, Matt Gay was perfect, and Riley Dixon threw a pass to get a first down. Dixon also did a great job setting the defense up with great field position. This game wasn’t much to write home about (or write about period) but it did at least show that if the Rams were healthier they could’ve been in this one. At this point, they need to keep evaluating everyone on the roster and once they figure out what’s going on with Stafford and Donald, they can properly reload. Until then, the rest of this year will be an absolute slog.

Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Van Jefferson Photo Credit: Jeff Spaur
Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Van Jefferson Photo Credit: Jeff Spaur