Best regular season game ever?
In the highest-scoring game in "Monday Night Football" history, the Los Angeles Rams outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs, 54-51, at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
Jared Goff ended the back-and-forth battle between the two 9-1 teams when he threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Everett with 1:49 remaining for the go-ahead score.
"It was a crazy game," Goff admitted. "It seemed like at the end whoever had the ball last would win. It was back-and-forth the whole game. There were times we thought we had all the momentum, and there was times it was the other way around and we had to claw back. It felt like a college game. It was fun."
Before that however, the 105-point game that featured a combined 1,001 yards, lived up to all the hype as both high-octane offenses put on an old fashioned shootout display for the ages.
"It was a whirlwind," said Rams head coach Sean McVay. "I feel like I might need a couple of beverages to relax tonight, but it was great. This is what you love so much about the game."
Two of the top front runners for NFL MVP, the Nos. 1 and 2 in total passing yards this season, somehow managed to surpass the shootout that many expected.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was 33 for 46 for a career-high 478 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in a losing effort.
"We can learn from this," said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. "We can't give up 21 points on turnovers. Have to take care of the football. We created some turnovers and points, (but had) too many penalties. We'll heal up and get set to go for stretch run."
Jared Goff was just as sharrp, completing 31 of 49 passes for 413 yards and no interceptions, but two fumbles and a rushing touchdown in the first NFL game to ever feature two 50-point performances.
"I'm sure it was historic, but ultimately coming out on top is the biggest thing," Goff said. "I'm just happy to get away from that game with a win."
The game featured 14 total touchdowns, but it all started when Los Angeles scored on the opening drive. Goff delivered a dime to Robert Woods in the left corner of the end zone to complete the seven-yard touchdown strike.
The second touchdown of the game featured Goff finding wide-receiver Josh Reynolds, who stepped into the starting lineup for the injured Copper Kupp.
"Josh stepped up big again," said Goff of his new slot receiver. "Seems like every time we need it he does. He was huge today. Just seeing his progression and the player he's starting to become is really exciting."
Mahomes and the Chiefs responded in lightning-quick fashion as they completed a 75-yard touchdown drive in just four plays as the sophomore quarterback found Tyreek Hill for a 25-yard reception.
After both teams exchanged field goals, Goff fumbled on his own 20-yard line, handing the Chiefs excellent field position and a chance to take the lead.
One play later, Mahomes found running back Kareem Hunt on a screen pass that the Ohio native took to the house for a 17-16 Kansas City lead.
The Rams got a game-changing turnover of their own a few minutes later when reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald, recorded a strip sack on Mahomes that was recovered by linebacker Samson Ebukam who ran it to the house for the defensive touchdown.
"He got two touchdowns. I haven't even got one in five years," said Donald of Ebukam. "When you have a team like this, anyone can make the big plays. He's a heck of a football player. He's always flying around."
If once wasn't enough, two times was twice as nice as Donald opened up the second half with another strip sack of Mahomes that was recovered by the Rams in Chiefs territory.
"I was just making my plays when they presented themselves and tried to put my team in a position to win," said Donald of the two strip sacks. "There was a lot of ups and downs, but to pull it off is definitely a good feeling."
Goff turned the turnover into a touchdown when he ran up the middle for a seven-yard scoring scamper that put the Rams back in front, 30-23.
Mahomes answered right back with a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce. The touchdown pass was Mahomes' fourth of the night, and the sixth time he's thrown four or more touchdowns in a game this season.
"It's always fun to play against real good teams," Mahomes said. "You get to go out there and have fun, but it's the same as when we played New England. You can't make mistakes against great teams. You need to limit your mistakes, but be aggressive."
The only other quarterback in NFL history to have more games with four or more touchdowns was Peyton Manning (9) in 2013.
After another field goal by Greg Zuerlein put the Rams back in front, Ebukam scored his second defensive touchdown of the game when he intercepted Mahomes on the ensuing drive, and dragged the young quarterback into the end zone for the score.
"The last time I had two touchdowns was in high school when I was a running back," joked Eubkam, who scored the first two touchdowns of his NFL career. "God blessed me. The ball rolled my way and I just took it and ran with it."
The Chiefs responded with 14 unanswered points after a 73-yard bomb to Hill from Mahomes and a defensive touchdown for Kansas City, in which Allen Bailey sacked and stole the ball from Goff, walking in for the go-ahead score.
The Rams responded in kind with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped off with a touchdown pass from Goff to tight end Gerald Everett. The entirety of the drive took 89 seconds.
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After the Chiefs answered again on a 10-yard touchdown reception from Mahomes to Chris Conley, the Rams went down the field and took the lead right back when Goff found Everett again for a 40-yard scoring strike.
The Chiefs had two opportunities to tie or take the lead, but Mahomes was intercepted on back-to-back drives, first by former teammate and Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters, then a game-ending interception by LaMarcus Joyner.
"You're going to have ups and downs in a game and you just keep trusting the process," said Peters of his interception. "The best thing about this is that I got to see my teammates and I got to see my old coaches and stuff."
The game featured six lead different lead changes, and the Chiefs set an NFL record for the most points by a losing team with 51.
The victory for the Rams snapped a six-game losing streak to the Chiefs, all of which came when the Rams were in St. Louis.
The last victory by the Rams over the Chiefs was on Sept. 25, 1994, ironically when they were still known as the Los Angeles Rams.
Rams head coach Sean McVay is undefeated against AFC teams (8-0) in his short tenure with the Rams.
The game was originally scheduled for Mexico City in an international showdown, but the NFL moved the game to Los Angeles after field preparations at the Estadio Azteca were not up to par.
"It was a 16-round fight," Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman said. "You're talking about a Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis type of fight. Two great teams. Two great opponents. Two great coaches."
Despite the wildly entertaining football game between two of the NFL's top teams, the theme of the night was "LA Together," as the Rams dedicated the game to the first responders and the victims of the California wildfires and the Borderline Bar and Grill mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.
Karen and Jordan Helus, the wife and son of Ventura County sheriff's deputy Ron Helus, who was killed in the shooting, lit the Coliseum torch in his honor before the game.
During timeouts, firefighters and police officers were honored for their life-saving actions, and players even wore LAFD and LAPD hats on the bench between plays.
The 77,000 fans in attendance were given rally towels that read "LA Together" upon entrance to the Coliseum, and they spun them in the air proudly throughout the back-and-forth battle.
The Rams will get a much deserved bye week and will be back in action on Dec. 2 in Detroit to face the Lions. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. PT on FOX.