The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams gave us the highest-scoring Monday Night Football game of all time, and perhaps a Super Bowl preview.
Much-anicitpated sporting events rarely live up to their enormous hype.
At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on Monday Night Football, Kansas City and Los Angeles outdid everybody’s wildest fever dreams.
In front of a staggered nation, the Chiefs and Rams put forth an epic contest that had a combined 105 points, seven turnovers, three defensive touchdowns, 21 penalties and six lead changes, with four coming in the fourth quarter.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 478 yards and six touchdowns, and lost, 54-51. Jared Goff went for 414 yards and four touchdowns, and survived a fourth-quarter strip-six. The Chiefs watched Mahomes throw three interceptions and be strip-sacked twice, while the team around him was flagged 13 times for 135 yards. They still scored 51 points.
Without fear of recency bias, we all witnessed a game that will be talked about tomorrow, next week, next month and next decade. It’s the sort of evening that you remember where you were when you watched it.
There were no losers in that game, save for Mexico City, which must be screaming at the football — and sod — gods.
On the standings board, the Rams moved to 10-1 while the Chiefs fell to 9-2, but that is besides the point. Los Angeles will be wrapping up the NFC West and a bye in the playoffs any day now, and Kansas City is still the heavy favorite to have home-field advantage come January.
The real story is that everyone believes this could very well have been a Super Bowl preview. After seeing the trailer, everyone wants more.
Kansas City is a light show with the game’s next great quarterback. Mahomes is a swashbuckler, capable of the sublime and the absurd at the same moment. It’s a rare person who encapsulates every quality one would want in an employee, let alone a showman, but Mahomes is clearly that and the some for a franchise that has long been without anything of the sort.
Los Angeles is a star city, and its football team — sorry, Chargers — is studded with them. The Rams are a point-a-minute offense with a leaky defense, albeit one that can change the game in an instant with the world’s best pass-rusher in Aaron Donald. Los Angeles loses tonight if not for Donald’s heroics, as he forced both strip-sacks, leading directly to 14 points.
Should both teams reach Atlanta for a rematch on Feb. 3, even more stars will likely be in the mix. Eric Berry and Aqib Talib will be back, along with Laurent Duvernay-Tarlif and Mitch Morse, two of Kansas City’s starting interior offensive linemen. With them returning, Donald will be challenged further, raising the question of whether he can duplicate his performance against far better competition.
With all due respect to the New Orleans Saints, this is the game everybody wants one more time. The Chiefs and Saints might also be spectacular, but now it’s known that the Chiefs and Rams are, in all of its messy glory from Monday night.
Come February, we’ll all be preparing for the Super Bowl. Let’s hope for a rematch.
Start up the hype machine. Now.