LOS ANGELES – Patrick Mahomes reached down to grab a handoff to halfback Kareem Hunt and fell deep in his…
LOS ANGELES – Patrick Mahomes reached down to grab a handoff to halfback Kareem Hunt and fell deep in his pocket, his eyes staring west over the grassy field that had functioned as his personal landscape. With 1:28 left in a surreal game that had sifted the emotional energy of 77,002 fans at the LA Coliseum and millions of Monday nights in football, Kansas City Chiefs freakishly amazing second-year quarterback were looking for an opening – and then, in a flash, he saw it: wide recipient Chris Conley crosses through Rams secondary, driving left to right 20 meters from the end zone with two steps on his defender and nothing but green in front of him.
So Mahomes wrapped up and ready to do what he just begins 1
2 in his career, make it as impressive as any driver in the country – cork an exact and powerful spiral towards a moving goal. One of the most epic regular season games in League history was there to take, and Mahomes was sure he had taken it. One night when he and his counterpart, Rams & Jared Goff, had painted southern California with highlights, this would be his masterpiece.
“I got him to come over,” said Mahomes later when he stood outside the crowded locker room of the Coliseum, waiting to deal with a group of journalists in an interview box after Rams 54-51 ( ), not a font you are reading that right ) victory. “He sat down and found an opening, and I would have got it, but I hit – and it went straight to Marcus.”
When Mahomes entered his throw, Ram’s linebacker Samson Ebukam struck a phenomenal performance of slipping inside KC close to Travis Kelce and lunging over the quarterback’s body and draping his left arm over the throat of Mahome when it released the ball. It made the pass for a pop-fly, and the fate would have the ball bouncing against the waiting arms of Marcus Peters, the former Chiefs corner, traded to Rams in February and struggled to regain his All-Pro form.
“Everything I thought was,” Do not drop that mother ——! “Peter said just before leaving the arena.” It felt good. It felt really good. You have to do well with the bad thing – all that – and when you get it, it’s worth everyone. But man, this game was wild. There were some s —. I mean, there were some s.! & # 39;
What he said.
If this competition last night matched between two teams with high octane breach and 9-1 entries had only been up for billing, it would have been a good night in the professional sports universe. In fact, it was much better than advertised.
Originally planned to take place in Mexico City, the game was moved to L.A. after NFL officials considered that the grass at Azteca Stadium was unplayable. Thus, a raucous Coliseum crowd was treated for three hours and 42 minutes with head spinning emocion with 105 total points (the third most in league history), 1001 combined turns and six lead changes, including four in the fourth quarter.
And unbelievable, despite an offensive orgie like split discs – and produced the first ever NFL final result where each team had at least 50 points – there was a series of game-defensive defensive games that served as controls and balances against these seemingly unstoppable crimes.
“It was a crazy crazy game,” said Mahomes, who finished 33 of 46 passes for 478 meters and six touchdowns, but also was responsible for five sales. “All that offense, and both defenses, made gigs that were huge momentum changer. I gave them basically 21 points – and you can not do it against a good team either, or you pay.”
It is especially true when the opposite quarterback, Goff, is positively golden – as was the case once again on Monday. Now in his third NFL season, the former Cal star and 1st overall draft team have quietly become one of the league’s best fighters, and he was money against the bosses and ended 31st of 49 throws for 413 yards and four touchdowns – including the exquisite game winner, a 40-yard, over-the-shoulder beauty to tighten finish Gerald Everett down on the right sideline at 1:49 left.
Entering Monday’s game, it was assumed that the two leading MVP challenges were superior to Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Mahomes, who would drive their league leading touchdown passes total to 37 at night’s end. Perhaps it’s time to add Goff’s name to the list and make it a three-round, especially if Rams (10-1) continues to tear through opposing secondary ones.
Make no mistake though: This victory over Chiefs (9-2) required some big, big games by Peters and his fellow defenders: Most especially Ebukam, who had a breakout game and defended defensive Aaron Donald, who seems to have one every weekend.
After hoping for a 13-0 lead, the frames hit 17-16 in the first half when Donald broke into the pocket and striped-sacked Mahomes. Ebukam, a fourth tour picked up from Eastern Washington in 2017, shot up the ball and raced 11 meters for a touchdown.
Every player was far from done: On Chief’s first unit in the second half, Donald made it again, again sacking Mahomes and dislodging the ball, with team mate John Franklin-Myers recovering on the Chiefs 46-yard-line. Donald, who squeezed his league-leading bag to 14.5, drove off with his second NFL Defensive Player of the Year award – and if another challenger were trying to seize the trophy, Donald would probably knock it out of his hands
Eight plays after Donald’s second comeback, Goff felt a punch in his pocket and surprised everyone by getting through a fate in the middle and driving seven meters for a touchdown, giving Rams a 30-23 lead. 19659002] Then, with Rams up 33-30 in the third quarter, Mahome’s short pass for the tight end Demetrius Harris broke out of the air of Ebukam and returned 25 meters for a touchdown.
“Hello, everyone did their thing today – that’s what it’s all about,” said Donald as he led the tunnel and out of the stadium. “It’s team football, that’s huge, because that’s what you need against an explosive offensive like this and a quarterback like this one. He is a heck of a football player. “
Apparently, Donald – who wrote at the end of August a six-year, $ 135 million contract extension that made him the highest paid defensive player in the league history (totally darkened Chicago Bears edge rush Khalil Mack) – does not subscribe to the stereotype of native lines that get massive payment days and since 19659006] .
“It’s no chill,” said Donald, laughing.
Said one of the men assigned to block him , the bosses agreed with Mitchell Schwartz: “You know he will usually get one or two great actors, you try to limit strips and sales. He is the highest paid guy with all his time and deserved so – and he is the rare guy who gets the record money and is underpaid . It’s tough. This man is a freak . “
Also, Mahomes was favored by a couple of major games of Chiefs defense. The first came at 6:50 in the second quarter, when defensive end Allen Bailey hit Goff, forced a fumble and recovered. Mahomes and Hunt coupled with a 21-yard touchdown on the next game, Chiefs put up 17-16.
Then, at 11:16 left in the game, KC linebacks Justin Houston pummeled Goff on the 2-yard line and unleashed the ball, and Bailey shrugged of that of Houston’s back and crossed into the end zone, giving the managers a 44-40 lead.
Two Goff-to-Everett touchdowns pass later, with the Mahomes-to-Conley score involved, and the scene was set for a Kansas City comeback. Peter’s interception occurred, but not permanently: Chiefs forced a three-and-one, giving Mahomes a last chance, as KC took possession of himself 12 with a timeout and 50 seconds left.
The tension ended at last when Mahomes, from his own 26, threw a desperation pass s against the fast-track Tyreek Hill (10 catches, 215 meters, two touchdowns) that were offset by security Lamarcus Joyner.
“We should have closed the game after Marcus interception – I was ill we did not,” said Goff. “We put our defense in a bad position and they played just as they had all day.”
For what’s worth, you can count Goff among the growing legion of Mahomes fans.
“He’s incredible,” said Goff. “He is the toughest guy in the NFL to defend right now, including Drew (Brees).”
He receives no argument from Peters, who had a glimpse of the Mahomes potential last year while playing against him in practice. Mahomes who backed up Alex Smith often quarterbacked the scout team before commencing the last game during the regular season, when the bosses had already hit a playoff chamber.
Did Peter know how ridiculously good the young quarterback was a year ago?
“F — yes,” said Peters. Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton (Manning) – your name is he’s coming up there … along with Jared Goff. It’s crazy. He used to throw crazy passports in practice without even looking. “
One night full of superlative performances seemed such an over-the-top praise not to be hyperbole. This was a special football game that left both teams empty when they entered their respective weekly views – emphasizing the idea that the only The opponent’s way of combating such explosive crimes is to try to keep pace, get some game-playing games on the defense and hope that the attack will not overwhelm.
“I’m very tired,” said Schwartz when he was ready to go to the team bus. “I know that this game was supposed to be played in Mexico, and I’m pretty glad it was not 9000 meters, because I’m not sure I could have done it. “
A few seconds later, Goff came out from the dressing room and stopped praising Schwartz, his colleague Cal alum. They talked a couple of minutes and posed for a photo, and no players seemed disturbed by keeping the interaction short.
“I’m exhausted,” said Goff.
So, too, was a soccer-watching nation.
Follow Michael Silver on Twitter @mikesilver .