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Are the Chiefs and Rams a Super Bowl preview?

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Are the Chiefs and Rams a Super Bowl preview?

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Nathan Swaffar, Sports Editor

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The Chiefs and Rams have possibly been the best two teams in the NFL this year. With the Chiefs stellar offense producing week after week, and the Rams Todd Gurley dominating the league along with a defensive line that is downright scary. The two will clash in week 11 in Los Angeles to determine who is superior. The question comes up, in February, will these be the last teams standing? It’s hard to determine at this moment on both sides, but it is starting to seem more and more likely with each team seeming to look unstoppable. Today I’ll be looking at weakness for both teams and previewing the big matchup.

The Chiefs’ offense has seemed unstoppable through ten weeks. Patrick Mahomes has already broken the Chiefs single season Touchdown record and seems to be in a battle with Todd Gurley for MVP. With all the weapons that the Chiefs have with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins; I feel as if Kareem Hunt has been overlooked. Hunt has been performing at an unbelievable level, but Gurley has been doing the same things. Both are elite rushers with the ability to get hit and keep pushing, and both can be elite pass catchers. The Rams have a similar story. Their offense has been stellar with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Brandin Cooks. Even with the recent injury to Cooper Kupp, the Rams seem to be one of the two teams to beat in the NFC. Both defenses though have seemed to struggle. The Chiefs are last in most defensive categories, while the Rams secondary has been questionable all year with offseason acquisitions like Marcus Peters not performing at the level that he had in previous years. Both teams will be tested this game, and both have keys to success, and weaknesses that could cost them the game.

Keys to the Chiefs’ success on Offense: Stopping the Rams elite pass rush

It was evident in the Chiefs’ last game that if Mahomes is under pressure, he’s not as good. The line for the Chiefs looked outmatched against the Cardinals. If they can barely stop the Cardinals, how will they stop the likes of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh? The line has to hold up against them, or Mahomes will be pretty sore after the game.

Keys to the Chiefs’ success on Defense: Stop Todd Gurley

The Rams offense’s heart is Gurley. If the Chiefs can find a way to shut him down in the rush and the pass game, they will give themselves a chance to win. Gurley has been elite all year long, and the Chiefs will have to throw everything at him to stop the dynamic back.

Keys to the Rams success on Offense: Take Advantage of the Chiefs weak secondary

Even with rushing threat of Todd Gurley always looming on the horizon, the Rams have to take advantage of the weak secondary of the Chiefs. With Eric Berry still being held out do to a heel injury, Jared Goff needs to let it fly. They need to target Steven Nelson, who is one of the weak links of the secondary playing lots of snaps, but probably isn’t a number two corner.

Keys to the Rams success on Defense: Get to Mahomes 

Everybody sees the one weakness in the dynamic offense of the Chiefs; Mahomes isn’t as good when he’s under pressure. With the Chiefs having multiple injuries on the offensive line, and the line not being able to hold a fairly average Cardinals defense, it seems as if the Rams are destined to beat up Mahomes all day.

Key Player for the Chiefs on Offense: Center Austin Reiter or Mitch Morse

It doesn’t really matter who plays center this week, either of them will have a tough job guarding the interior duo of Aaron Donald or Ndamukong Suh. Whoever the center is this week, he must be able to slow down the attack of two of the best defensive players in the league.

Key Player for the Chiefs on Defense: Cornerback Steven Nelson

The Rams are going to attack Nelson whoever is on him. Nelson has struggled multiple times this season, even with Nelson playing well over the past few weeks, he still has weaknesses that the Rams will try to exploit him.

Key Player for the Rams on Offense: Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks 

The Rams have a chance to break a weak Chiefs secondary, Cooks will have to be the guy. Cooks is fast and will probably matched up with Nelson on the outside most of the time, so he needs to take advantage of matching up against a slower Corner.

Key Player for the Rams Defense: Cornerback Marcus Peters

It’s hard to believe that Peters will be the key against his former team, but he’ll be tasked with holding Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, although he may have a little advantage against Hill as he practiced against him for two years.

Why the Chiefs will win

Mahomes will have another MVP like game and the defense will slow down Gurley along with Goff. If the Chiefs win, they’ll be in the conversation for front running Super Bowl Favorites.

Why the Rams will win

Goff will let it fly and it will translate to Gurley on the ground. Donald and Suh will pressure Mahomes all night and force him to make bad decisions and throw the ball away, along with stopping Kareem Hunt on the ground.

Paths to the Playoffs 

The Chiefs have a harder path to the playoffs with the LA Chargers on their tail, but the first seed looking possibly a bit easier to get. The Rams can clinch the NFC West this week, the earliest since the 85 Bears, with a win and a Seahawks loss. So what’s standing in their way to play again in February?

Factors in the Chiefs way to glory: The Chargers, Steelers, and Patriots

The Chiefs have an advantage over LA and Pittsburgh, and with New England losing to the Titans, it clears a path to the number one seed, but it would be hard not lose two games with the Rams, Chargers, and Seahawks still on the schedule.

Factors in the Rams way to glory: New Orleans Saints

Right now the NFC runs through the big easy, and the Saints are marching into the second half of the season. The Rams will need a strong second half to stay even. Along with a tough half for the Saints; it seems as though the Rams may have the advantage before the end of the season.

My Prediction: Overtime in LA

I believe the two offensive powerhouses will fight all game long with the score tied 35-35 at the end of regulation after a game tying drive by Goff and the Rams. The Chiefs, who’ve only lost one coin toss this season, win the toss and decide the obvious. Mahomes and Hunt will be too much for the already tired Rams defense as Mahomes throws a touchdown to Travis Kelce to end it.

Chiefs 41 Rams 35

Click here for NFL.com preview of the matchup.

 

 

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Are the Chiefs and Rams a Super Bowl preview?