In the battle for Missouri, the Chiefs won the struggle on the line. Kansas City got a lead early that forced the Rams to spend most of the second half passing the ball. They were able to put constant pressure on Sam Bradford to stop any chance the Rams had at coming back.
The Chiefs were able to win and stay one step ahead in their division as they continue to show they are worthy of the playoffs, while even though the Rams lost and didn’t look good they still control their destiny in their playoff push.
Rams: Three performances of note
Right tackle Jason Smith (-7.4) was no match for Tamba Hali. He allowed four pressures and two hits, and had three penalties accepted (and one declined), all of which hurt the team. The Rams have expected Smith to get better with time, but his play has been getting worse.
James Hall (+4.4) put up a good game at DE for the Rams, who weren’t too terrible but nothing spectacular on defense. He had three pressures and a sack and two stops. He has been better since he’s seen his playing time decrease, and the Rams used nine different defensive linemen during this game with each getting 14 or more snaps.
Bradford (-3.9) has shown a lot of promise for the Rams in his first year, but this was not one of his better games. He completed less than half of his passes, had only 4.2 yards per attempt, threw two interceptions and was sacked three times. Bradford had a -4.0 pass rating when throwing to either side of the field, and a 0.0 rating when throwing to the middle. The Rams must hope this was a fluke rather than the start of a slump to end the season.
Chiefs: Three performances of note
Jamaal Charles (+3.8) continued to turn heads in this game as he took one run for 80 yards. If you ignored that run, he still rushed for 4.6 yards per attempt. He has 1,304 yards, downright amazing for a player who has had 12 carries or fewer in half of his games. Charles’ play helped keep the offense going for the Chiefs.
Tamba Hali (+7.7) continued to put up amazing pass-rush numbers in this game, with six pressures and two hits on 40 rushes. This means Hali was able to bring pressure on one of every five pass plays — an amazing rate. Hali is another Chiefs player who has been earning Defensive Player of the Year consideration here and should be getting more national attention.
Defensive end Wallace Gilberry (+5.1) lined up across from Hali in nickel formations, which ended up being most of the game, and also put up great numbers as a pass-rusher. He had three sacks along with four pressures on 29 rushes. Because he struggles against the run, Gilberry is still best coming off the bench, but he has been an excellent role player for the Chiefs this year.
For the Chiefs, WR Dexter McCluster (-1.8) saw his snaps decrease again this week and caught one ball for 7 yards. … Tight end Tony Moeaki (+1.1) caught three balls, and also had a good game both pass and run blocking. … The Chiefs also had a trio of rookies play the majority of the game in the secondary with CB Javier Arenas (-0.1), S Eric Berry (+0.5) and S Kendrick Lewis (+2.7). Lewis had the best game in the group, getting thrown at twice and intercepting both of the passes.
For the Rams, WR Danario Alexander (-0.7) was thrown at four times but didn’t record a catch. … Left tackle Rodger Saffold (-3.4) had been showing progress, but in the past two games has regressed. … The trio of DT Jermelle Cudjo (+1.0), DE George Selvie (-1.4) and DE Eugene Sims (-1.5) rotated in and out on the defensive line, with Cudjo having a nice game pass rushing on his limited attempts. … Darian Stewart (+1.4) played SS in the dime defense and didn’t allow a catch while also deflecting a pass.
Chiefs ILB Derrick Johnson (+6.2) had six stops, which is tied for his best this year.