The Chiefs are headed to Los Angeles to face off with the Rams. How can the Chiefs come away with a win? We reviewed the film. Let’s discuss.
In the wake of one of the most anticipated matchups of the year, it has been a bit quiet—too quiet. Perhaps a calm before the storm. Nevertheless, the Chiefs fan base was in a bit of a lull before the news of Patrick Mahomes’ love of ketchup. This may not be the Eric Berry returning to practice news that we had been hoping for, or a free agent signing that many hoped for. Instead, we have been debating all week about ketchup acceptability. Without rehashing what has been established already throughout the week, I just want to say ketchup is a way of life that I am adopting.
Ketchup on steak is important, but is it as important as Monday Night Football in a potential Super Bowl matchup? No. This is what we are looking at: Sean McVay vs Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes vs Jared Goff, Todd Gurley vs Kareem Hunt and Marcus Peters vs Tyreek Hill. In one of the Chiefs most anticipated games of the last decade, I am going to give you the breakdown. This is how Kansas City can come away with a victory against the Los Angeles Rams:
Be physical up front
If the Chiefs have any chance of winning this game, they will need their offensive line to bounce back in a big way. Andrew Wylie has a mean streak in him as does Cam Erving. We will need to see their most physical performance of the season on Monday night as they are set with the tasks of blocking Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. Donald is one of the best defensive players in football; However, the Chiefs can beat the front line of defense for the Rams in the run game.
On this play, Rashaad Penny is the tailback. This is a simple read option play. Now, watch the offensive linemen seal the defenders back to the inside of the field. When Russell Wilson sees the opening, he wisely gives the ball to Penny, who, with patience comes away with a great run. If Kareem Hunt is given this kind of space, the Rams are in trouble.
Push the ball downfield, especially against man coverages
This cannot be overstated: The Rams have not played as well as anticipated in man coverage. When Aqib Talib sustained an injury that has sidelined him for a substantial amount of time, the expectation was that Marcus Peters would be able to hold his own. After watching the tape, man coverage has been an issue for the Rams all season long.
On this play, the pressure comes quickly for Aaron Rodgers, but he maneuvers and steps up in the pocket. This allows his wide receiver an extra few moments to get open. Peters, who was in coverage, seemed to think he had help over the top. This miscommunication has been common, as well as getting beat in man to man coverage. Patrick Mahomes should be salivating like he just lathered his steak in ketchup with this matchup.
Attack with some Smash and Drive concepts
Again, the coverage for the Rams has been a bit lackluster. This can be easily exploited with some simple route concepts. Of these concepts, the most effective has been the “smash” concept and the “drive” complex. The drive complex, shown above, where the outside receiver runs an out route and the inside receiver runs a corner, forcing the defender to try and cover two spots at once. This works to perfection for the Chargers on this play.
If I am calling the plays, I consider lining Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill up on the same side of the field to create opportunities like this. If Peters is covering Hill, I would look to go to a four verticals look. The Chiefs have an opportunity to stretch the field on the Rams.