Four Takeaways From the Chiefs’ 26-10 Win Over the Rams

Here are four takeaways from the Chiefs’ Week 12 home matchup against the Rams.

The Kansas City Chiefs came into Week 12 favored by more than two touchdowns, setting the scene for a potentially non-competitive afternoon game against the Los Angeles Rams. That’s exactly what happened, as the visitors simply couldn’t get enough done offensively to keep up with a Kansas City team that didn’t do anything crazy but still won by multiple scores. The Chiefs rose to 9-2 on the year with their 26-10 win, and the Rams are now 3-8 and on a five-game losing streak. 

Here are four takeaways from Sunday’s game.

1. Running backs managed without Clyde Edwards-Helaire

With Clyde Edwards-Helaire on the injured reserve list, the dynamic of the Chiefs’ running back room was slated to change at least somewhat on Sunday. Rookie Isiah Pacheco was coming off his first career 100-yard game, and he remained the lead running back with veteran Jerick McKinnon serving as the team’s third-down back of choice. Someone who got a bit more work than expected, though, was Ronald Jones. In his season debut, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers halfback toted the ball four times for 12 yards but also had an impressive 22-yard reception. This appears to be a formidable rotation for the Chiefs moving forward, even without their former first-round pick. 

2. It was once again a group effort for wide receivers

Mecole Hardman remained out due to being on IR, but the addition of JuJu Smith-Schuster back into the lineup helped pave the way for a quietly efficient game from the Chiefs’ wide receiver room. Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the way with four receptions for 56 yards, with Smith-Schuster adding 38 yards of his own and both Skyy Moore and Justin Watson making plays throughout the game. Before the season, quarterback Patrick Mahomes mentioned a different player having his “game” every week and there being more group-intensive efforts in 2022. The latter happened on Sunday, and it was more than enough to secure the win. 

3. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense did its job

Facing a Rams offense without Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp doesn’t exactly pose a serious threat to the opposition, and facing a Rams offense with a makeshift offensive line makes matters even worse. Still, though, Kansas City’s defense deserves credit for putting together a quality afternoon. Spagnuolo’s front four got solid pressure on Bryce Perkins, with the likes of Chris Jones and George Karlaftis recording sacks. Additionally, Nick Bolton and L’Jarius Sneed each had an interception in the second half. The Chiefs will undoubtedly face much more intimidating offenses down the stretch, but all they could do on Sunday was handle their business. They did just that, allowing just 10 points at home.

4. A much bigger test looms next Sunday

The blowout victory on Sunday secured the Chiefs their fifth win in a row, and that ninth win allowed them to maintain their grasp on the AFC’s top seed. With a minimal margin for error, every game is an important one. Week 13’s contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, however, could prove to be one of Kansas City’s biggest games of the year. The Rams deserve respect, but this was more of a lower-stakes outing sandwiched between two big-time matchups against premier conference foes. The Chiefs escaped Week 12 with a favorable outcome, and now they’ll hit the road looking to keep that momentum going against Joe Burrow and company.

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