The New King of the NFL
The New King of the NFL: Los Angeles Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Is a Los Angeles Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Inevitable?
History has taught us not to anoint the Super Bowl champion in October, before the NFL season is even 50% complete. Plenty of teams with the best regular season record fall short in the playoffs, and plenty of teams with questionable playoff odds get hot at the right time and end up becoming the Super Bowl winner that nobody saw coming.
But even with that in mind, you’d have a hard time arguing against the idea that not only are the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs two of the very best teams in the NFL this season, but the presumptive favorites to represent their respective conferences in Super Bowl LIII.
To critics who’ll say that “we’ve seen this movie before,” as far as the Kansas City Chiefs ripping through the first half of the season, they’re half right. Last year, we saw the Chiefs storm out to a 5-0 record, and humiliate the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the process. As we all know, Kansas City then proceeded to finish with a 10-6 record and become a “one-and-done” in the postseason.
But the 2017 version of the Chiefs didn’t have Patrick Mahomes under center; or, more specifically, a quarterback who’s putting up statistics and making plays that we previously saw in video games. Mahomes is on pace to throw 50 touchdown passes, which would tie him for the 2nd-most in NFL history if that were to happen. On top of the fact that he’s got weapons like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt around him indicates that what we’re seeing right now is plenty sustainable. That’s especially the case given that Kansas City’s otherwise porous defense is going to force the team into a lot of shootouts, and there are few teams who want to find themselves in that type of situation against the Chiefs.
|Lg Rank Offense||1||3||3||2||4||17||5||1||13||3||16||10||7||8|
|Lg Rank Defense||21||32||18||21||32||32||31||12||10||25||7||23||29||30|
And when it comes to the Rams? What they’re doing right now shouldn’t be surprising, considering we anointed them a Super Bowl favorite in the preseason, given the year they were coming off in 2017, and the way they pushed their proverbial poker chips into the center of the table, going “all in” for this season.
You’d think that with an offseason to study the Rams’ offense, opposing teams would be better prepared to stop it. Given what we’re seeing, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. The Rams are on pace to finish among the 10 highest scoring teams in NFL history (not to mention breaking the franchise record for points in a season, set by the “Greatest Show On Turf” 1999 St. Louis team). With 14 touchdowns in seven games, running back Todd Gurley is on pace to break the single-season touchdown record, set by LaDainian Tomlinson over a decade ago. Head coach Sean McVay is absolutely toying with opposing defenses each week with the schemes he creates, getting so many of his mostly unheralded wide receivers open.
|Lg Rank Offense||3||2||3||2||2||26||7||11||13||1||1||1||2||6|
|Lg Rank Defense||4||7||10||9||5||11||9||12||10||9||2||12||3||26|
Like the Chiefs, the Rams have their own questions on the defensive side of the ball, but moreso as a result of the injuries they’ve sustained this year. But, again, with the firepower both the Rams and the Chiefs currently possess, they simply have the ability to outscore anyone they face.