INSIDER'S SCOOP FROM BEN GRAHAM

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Los Angeles Rams 54 - Kansas City Chiefs 51

From the desk of Ben Graham

NFL Week 11 Los Angeles Rams vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 11 was one of the most anticipated weeks in recent memory in this captivating NFL season and whilst we always expect some close and very exciting games, it certainly lived up to all the hype. Of the 13 games, 11 were decided by 5 points or less with 5 games effectively coming down to the last play. Undoubtedly, the most thrilling game of Week 11, and potentially the best game of the season (maybe ever), was the Monday Night Football match-up between the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams and the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs. Many predicted this to be a preview of Super Bowl 53 and were hoping for a high scoring affair and it didn’t let us down.

Originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, the game was moved to LA due to concerns with the playing surface, so the NFL made the decision to play the game at the LA Coliseum as it was a scheduled Rams home game. Whilst NFL fans in Mexico may have missed out on a classic game, the city of Los Angeles rallied and turned out in full force.

The Rams and the Chiefs both entered the game with 9-1 records, comfortably leading their respective division and providing 2 of the NFL’s most high-powered offences. The over and under betting line of 63 ½ points set a new NFL record and we only had to wait until midway through the 3rd quarter for that to be blown out of the water -  further proof that these 2 teams would be worthy Super Bowl combatants.

The game started well for the Rams, scoring the first 2 touchdowns thanks to the arm of QB Jared Goff but the first of the Chiefs touchdowns was a sign of things to come. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes found WR Tyreek Hill on a 25 yard play to score. Game on. The second quarter started with a field goal apiece but this is where the game really ramped up. Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt found the end zone followed by a huge fumble return for a touchdown by the Rams defence. Another Chiefs touchdown, this time Mahomes to WR Chris Conley, saw it all tied up 23-23 at the half.

The second half began with Goff using his legs for a Rams rushing touchdown before the Chiefs tied it up again with TE Travis Kelce adding another TD. Like the second quarter, the 3rd was dominated by the Rams defence, this time it was LB Samson Ebukam who returned an interception for a touchdown. At this point in the contest, it looked like the Rams had the edge on both sides of the ball but you can never count out Mahomes and the Chiefs. The 4th quarter was one of the best NFL quarters you will ever see. 35 points, 5 TD’s, big plays, interceptions, a fumble recovery for a TD, it had the lot. There were 11 lead changes in the game and whilst the Goff to TE Gerald Everett for his 2nd touchdown of the game with less than 2 minutes on the clock turned out to be last score, Mahomes threw 2 more interceptions trying to get his team over the line.

The final score was Rams 54 beating the Chiefs 51, the 3rd highest combined score in NFL history. Have a look at some of the stats:

-        Rams

o   QB Jared Goff 413 yards, 4 TD’s

o   RB Todd Gurley 55 yards (quiet by his standards)

o   WR Brandin Cooks 107 yards

o   TE Gerald Everett 49 yards 2 TD’s

o   LB Samson Ebukam 1 fumble TD, 1 interception TD

-        Chiefs

o   QB Patrick Mahomes 478 yards, 6 TD’s

o   RB Kareem Hunt 111 total yards, 1 TD

o   WR Tyreek Hill 215 yards, 2 TD’s

o   WR Chris Conley 74 yards, 2 TD’s

o   TE Travis Kelce, 127 yards, 1 TD

If this was a preview of Super Bowl 53, to be played in Atlanta on Sunday February 3 (US) / Monday February 4 (AEDT), we are in for a cracking game. Even if they do fall short, there are plenty of other high calibre teams that have the ability to put on a great show in Atlanta including the Saints and Patriots. There will be a lot of jostling for positions in the final 6 weeks of the season as the play-off picture continues to take shape and we gear up for an exciting play-off series in this thrilling NFL season.

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