Sunday, December 19, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Chiefs 27, Rams 13
By Mike Sando
ST. LOUIS -- Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' 27-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome in Week 15:
What it means: The Rams fell to 6-8 and appeared quite vulnerable because their offense failed to make plays in the passing game. Quarterback Sam Bradford took a beating. His offensive line struggled. His receivers dropped passes and failed to get open. Bradford was off-target a few times. The Chiefs improved to 4-0 against the NFC West this season. The Rams can remain tied atop the NFC West as long as Seattle loses to Atlanta.
What I liked: The Rams' defense was ready from the beginning, shutting down the Chiefs' ground game and picking off Matt Cassel on Kansas City's second possession. The run defense held up reasonably well until the Chiefs broke an 80-yarder in the final minutes, when the Rams were trying to pry loose the football more than maintain gap responsibility.
What I didn't like: The Rams didn't get as much pressure on Cassel as they might have expected. Their offense had no firepower. Execution and play design seemed lacking on the Rams' third possession in particular. They needed to get something going, but never did. When the Rams did appear to make a play or two, officials correctly ruled otherwise (negating a Chiefs fumble and an apparent Rams third-down completion, for example).
Injury of note: Fullback Brit Miller suffered an apparent knee injury while covering a punt in the third quarter.
Big Revelation: The Rams' home-field advantage didn't mean nearly as much given how many Chiefs fans showed up. St. Louis team suffered multiple false start penalties amid the noise. Chiefs fans finished the national anthem with their customary "Chiefs" yell ("and the home, of the, CHIEFS!"). When the outcome was decided and the final minutes ticked off the clock, Chiefs fans were the only ones left.
Trending: Bradford tossed two more interceptions. These were both on desperation throws late in the game, but the numbers are adding up. Bradford has five picks and no touchdown passes over his last three games. He had 11 touchdowns and one interception over his previous six.
What's next: The Rams face the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome in Week 16.