1-point losses, 1994, 20-14 at half, 21-20, Alex Smith, Andy Reid, Cairo Santos, Case Keenum, Chicago Bears, Chris Conley, Dallas Cowboys, defense, Denver Broncos, Dontari Poe, field goal, Governor’s Cups, Green Bay Packers, half-time lead, interception, Jared Goff, Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs, Knile Davis, Los Angeles CA, Los Angeles Rams, Malcolm Brown, missed field goal, offense, penalties, Pharoh Cooper, pre-season, sacked, Seattle Seahawks, Spencer Ware, St. Louis Rams, Todd Gurley, two fumbles, Tyreek Hill
The Rams defeated the Chiefs 21-20 in Los Angeles after the Chiefs held a 20-14 lead at halftime. The week before the Chiefs lost 16-17 to the Seattle Seahawks in Kansas City after the Chiefs held a 13-3 halftime lead.
It was the Chiefs first game in Los Angeles since 1994. It was the Rams’ second home game in L.A. since that year, and last week the Rams defeated the Dallas Cowboys 28-24. The Los Angeles fans were ready for another win.
Last year the Chiefs beat the St. Louis Rams 24-17 in the final game of the pre-season, and they didn’t play each other during the main season. The Chiefs beat the Rams 24-17 in 2014 in the final Governor’s Cup game.
As it turned out, the difference this week was made by an unusual missed mid-distance field goal at the start of the fourth quarter and two fumbles that foiled the chance of a game-winning field goal near the end of the game.
This Saturday night the initial 75-yard drive by starting quarterback Alex Smith led to a touchdown by running back Spencer Ware midway through the first quarter.
Next, a brief Los Angeles drive — fueled largely by a 41-yard Chiefs penalty — concluded with a touchdown pass from Case Keenum to running back Todd Gurley with 5:13 left in the first quarter, tying the score at 7-7.
Then a 10-play 79-yard drive led to touchdown by rookie wide receiver Pharoh Cooper with 13:37 left in the second quarter.
Next a Chiefs drive — fueled by a 38-yard reception by wide receiver Chris Conley — ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin with 10 minutes left in the quarter.
Soon Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff was sacked, and Chiefs defensive lineman Dontari Poe intercepted the ball. This led to a drive concluding with a 32-yard field goal by Cairo Santos.
Some time after that, a Chiefs drive led to a 19-yard Santos field goal with 3 seconds left in the quarter, making the halftime score Chiefs 20, Rams 14.
Maclin was ejected from the game for unsporsmanlike contact between the two field goals.
Starting the third quarter the Rams went to three and out. Then a drive lasting close to 8 minutes concluded with a missed 43-yard field goal attempt by Santos near the start of the fourth quarter.
Then a 5-play 67-yard Rams drive dominated by runs by second year running back Malcolm Brown concluded with a touchdown by Brown to give Los Angeles the lead 21-20.
In the next two Chiefs drives thirds string quarterback Aaron Murray fumbled twice and was intercepted the second time at the 21-yard line with 1:49 left in the game, preventing any chance Santos had to make a game-winning field goal.
The Rams soon went to the knee, concluding the game with a 21-20 win.
Statistically the Chiefs were relatively strong on offense but lost 109 yards with nine penalties. Against the Rams the usually strong Chiefs defense was so-so.
The Chiefs next Sunday at noon play the Bears in Chicago and conclude the pre-season Sept. 1 playing the Green Bay Packers in Kansas City. The Denver Broncos beat the Bears Aug. 11 in Chicago, and the New England Patriots defeated the Bears 23-22 Thursday in Foxborough, Mass. The Packers are currently 2-0 in the pre-season.
Every Chiefs game is broadcast live on K-Kountry 95 radio.
The Rams next Saturday play the Broncos at Denver. The Broncos are 1-1.
— Howard Elliott