Patrick Mahomes threw for 320 yards and a touchdown, Isiah Pacheco ran for a score, and the Kansas City Chiefs slogged their way to a 26-10 victory over the beat-up Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Mahomes eclipsed 300 yards passing for the sixth straight game, and he ran his streak with a TD pass to 16, but the Chiefs (9-2) also squandered plenty of scoring opportunities. Mahomes was intercepted in the end zone in the fourth quarter, and Harrison Butker was called upon to kick four chipshot field goals when drives stalled.
It didn’t matter against the Rams, who have lost five straight for the first time under Sean McVay.
Playing without Matthew Stafford, who remained in the concussion protocol, the Rams (3-8) struggled to move the chains behind Bryce Perkins, a career backup making his first start. He made a couple of nice plays with his legs but threw for just 100 yards with a touchdown pass and two interceptions.
The Rams’ losing streak and their record through 11 games matches the 1987 Giants for the worst among defending Super Bowl champs, though New York’s dismal start came amid a strike resulting in the use of replacement players.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have won six the seven against Los Angeles, and they exacted some revenge for that lone defeat, when then-Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw a late TD pass to win a 54-51 thriller in November 2018.
The Rams certainly looked like a team playing without its starting quarterback, top two wide receivers and two starting offensive linemen — all out with injuries Sunday. They scrapped just to get positive yardage on every snap, and that’s only when they managed to get the play off in time or didn’t have to waste a timeout.
The Chiefs didn’t penalize them early for their many miscues, though defensive tackle Chris Jones did pick up his 10th sack of the season, triggering a $1.25 million incentive. Kansas City instead marched methodically down field only to twice settle for field goals, leaving the woebegone Rams surprisingly within 13-3 lead at intermission.
The Chiefs had 277 yards of offense at that point. Los Angeles had 75.
Any hope the Rams had evaporated on the first two possessions of the second half, when they went three-and-out and Mahomes and Co. answered with a 71-yard scoring march. And this time, rather than the drive fizzling and Harrison Butker swinging his leg, Pacheco bulldozed into the end zone from 3 yards out to give Kansas City a 20-3 lead.
The Rams finally reached the end zone in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs added two field goals to put the game away.
Rams: OLs Brian Allen (thumb) and Ty Nsekhe (ankle) along with WR Allen Robinson II (ankle) were inactive. … WR Lance McCutcheon (shoulder) left in the fourth quarter.
Chiefs: RG Joe Thuney (ankle) was inactive, ending his streak of 107 consecutive starts. FS Juan Thornhill (calf) also was inactive. … CB L’Jarius Sneed cleared the concussion protocol after taking a hit to the head in the second quarter.
The Rams play Seattle next Sunday to begin a two-game homestand.
The Chiefs visit Cincinnati on Sunday for the first of three straight road games.