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Los Angeles vs. Kansas City Prediction: Streaking Chiefs Host the Struggling Rams

This matchup of recent Super Bowl champions has lost a lot of its luster because of the Rams' steep decline.

The Chiefs are a-chargin' and the Rams are a-hurtin', literally.

Patrick Mahomes has the Chiefs looking like they're capable of another deep postseason run as they lead the AFC West with an 8-2 mark. But the Rams are just the opposite, looking anything but like their Super Bowl selves at a wispy 3-7.

Related: Expert Picks for Every Week 12 NFL Game

Both teams are coming in off one-score games as the Rams dropped a crushing 27-20 decision at New Orleans and the Chiefs escaped L.A. by taking down the Chargers 30-27 with yet another final minute dose of magic from Patrick Mahomes. It will be an interesting sub-story in that the Rams have a top-10 defense, giving up just 312 yards per game, and the Chiefs have the best offense in the NFL, averaging 429.3 yards per game.

The last time these two faced off, 50 was not enough points to decide the winner as the Rams won a 54-51 track meet, back in November 2018. In that game, Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns and Mahomes went for 478 yards and six touchdowns. The Rams might wish they still had Goff to turn to this week.

Los Angeles (3-7) at Kansas City (8-2)

Kickoff: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
Spread: Chiefs -15.5
Tickets: As low as $162 on*

Three Things to Watch

1. Who will lead this Rams offense?
With Matthew Stafford likely out in concussion protocol and backup QB John Wolford out with a neck injury, the Rams are essentially down to their third-string quarterback with Bryce Perkins, who took reps with the first-team offense in practice this week. He went 5-of-10 for 64 yards in relief against the Saints and also ran for 39 yards. So there is that element of the threat of run which Stafford does not possess. But the Rams' offensive line has been Swiss cheese, so let's hope whoever is playing QB is just able to stay vertical. Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna and defensive tackle Chris Jones each had two sacks each last week against the Chargers and will be pinning their ears back to get to Perkins this Sunday. You know, "fresh meat" and all.

2. Mahomes and the no-names
It's gotten to the point where it doesn't matter much who Mahomes is playing with. Last Sunday, Travis Kelce did his usual part in being a difference-maker for the KC offense, catching three touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 31 seconds left to beat the Chargers. But beyond him, it was a bunch of no-names who carried the reception load for Mahomes and Co. Going into the Chargers game, the Chiefs were using greenhorn receivers like Justin Watson (seven catches), Skyy Moore (seven), Jody Fortson (four) and Noah Gray (14). But nobody has thrown for more yards (326.5 per game) or for more touchdowns (28) than Mahomes, so it just doesn't matter who is out there to catch footballs. The good news is that JuJu Smith-Schuster is back at full strength this week, so expect a lot of throws to him and Kelce.

3. The Rams' defense *might* be able to keep them in the game
While the defensive backs have labored a good bit this season, the Rams' D overall does have positives to lean on. Their pass rush was very effective against the Saints, and they also allow the third-fewest big plays in the NFL. Mahomes will surely test that since he has more throws of 25-plus yards than any other QB in the league. The Rams are also fourth in the NFL in red zone defense, so there is hope that they can limit the Chiefs to field goals and try to stay in the game until their offense comes around.

Final Analysis

The Rams have lost four straight games for the first time in the Sean McVay era. And all things considered, this looks like it has a serious chance of becoming a five-game losing streak. The Rams will likely be without Stafford and are definitely without Cooper Kupp, so it's a rag-tag offense for now and the Chiefs are not the type of team you want to play when you're down two of your best players. While I think the Rams can stay in the game for at least three quarters, I can't imagine this one is another white-knuckler that comes down to the last minute.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Rams 16

— Written by Eric Sorenson, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He is a college football, college baseball and college hockey addict... and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Stitch_Head.

*Price as of publication.