The Kansas City Chiefs will take on one of the most injured teams in the NFL in the LA Rams tomorrow afternoon.
The two teams look much different than their last matchup in arguably the greatest Monday Night Football game in NFL history. However, the Rams still have a couple of gamechangers on the field.
The Rams offense has been hit with the injury bug hard this season. The offense especially has been the victim. The top two players on their offense have already been ruled out for the game. Cooper Kupp was placed on injured reserve and more recently Mathew Stafford was ruled out due to a neck injury.
The Rams also have one of the worst offensive lines in the league. They are giving up the second most pressures in the league, according to PFF. This is due to injuries from earlier in the year and Andrew Whitworth’s retirement.
The Rams are planning to start their third string quarterback, Bryce Perkins. Perkins is a third year veteran who has no significant starting time as a NFL quarterback. He did play last week but he did not play well.
Perkins threw the ball 10 times and only got five completions for 64 yards. While he is not a significant threat in the passing game, the Chiefs will need to keep his running game in check. Perkins highlight plays come from his ability to scramble and run for yards.
This may be a significant part of the Rams game plan because of the Chiefs recent success rushing the passer. Over the last month the Chiefs have become one of the best pass rushing teams in the league. Three out of the last four games the Chiefs have five sacks.
With the combination of O-line play by the Rams and the Chiefs D-line on a hot streak, the Chiefs should get considerable pressure on the young QB.
The Chiefs themselves are dealing with injuries of their own on the offensive side of the ball. Earlier this week the Chiefs put Clyde Edwards-Helaire on the injured reserve for an injury sustained against the Chargers. Mecole Hardman will miss his second game since going on IR. Kadarius Thoney has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The Chiefs should get JuJu Smith-Schuster back this week. He has been practicing all week and is out of concussion protocol. With Edwards-Helaire out the Chiefs have activated Ronald Jones. Jones has been a healthy scratch all year but will now have an opportunity due to Clyde’s injury. Even with the activation of Jones, Isiah Pacheco will be the main man.
Despite the Rams injuries the Chiefs will still be facing one of the most talented defenses in the league. While Aaron Donald is having a down year, by his standards, he is still one of the best defensive tackles in the game. Bobby Wagner is top talent at the middle linebacker position and Jalen Ramsey still has lock down corner potential.
Those three players at all the levels of the defense allow for less talented players to step up because the opposing offense has to dedicate time and resources into stopping them.
I predict the Chiefs will win this game if the defense is able to get pressure on Perkins and not allow the Rams star players to play at their best. Steve Spagnuolo should have creative blitz packages and the Chiefs should continue their domination of opposing offensive lines.
With the way the Chiefs are playing, I expect a great time win this week.