The Rams and Chiefs were expected to put on a show Monday night. Nobody could’ve foreseen the fireworks that came to pass in the Coliseum.
It was a game for the ages. Or at least a game that modern NFL fans seem to love. All offense and optional defense. It was a gunslinging shootout between two young quarterbacks in Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes. They combined for over 890 passing yards and 10 touchdown passes with the two teams trading the lead most of the way until the Rams finally shut the door with two late interceptions of Mahomes, clinching a 54-51 win.
It became the third-highest scoring game in NFL history. People were already saying afterward that they can’t wait to book their tickets to the Super Bowl to watch these two teams have their rematch. Fun to think about for sure, but there’s a big problem with it. Prior to this game, there were four games that breached the 100-point barrier in history. Of the eight teams that were involved, none of them even reached the championship game that year.
Know why? Most of them had defenses that ranked in the bottom third of the league during their respective seasons. It’s the same for this game. The Chiefs came in ranked 30th and the Rams 15th though L.A. had allowed 27, 45, and 31 points the previous three weeks. Suffice to say these defenses are average. At best.
Fate hasn’t been kind to Super Bowl teams with mediocre defenses
Since 1980, a total of 12 teams that ranked 15th or worse in points allowed during the year have made it to the Super Bowl. Those teams are 3-9 in the big game. Suffice to say sometimes a great offense can reach the finish line, but too often they come up painfully short when it matters the most. These teams should know better than most.
The highest-scoring offense in Rams history in 2000 didn’t even reach the Super Bowl. The two highest-scoring teams in Chiefs history in 2003 and 2004 didn’t even reach a conference championship game. Why. None of those teams had a good defense to compliment them. Both of these teams have some good defensive players like Aaron Donald or Justin Houston, but it takes more than one or two studs to make a good defensive unit.
Unless things change over the next two months, it might not be wise to pencil these teams in for the final contest in February.