Rams Vs. Chiefs MNF Preview: Teams So Evenly Matched NFL Needs “All-Star” Officiating Crew – Time Start, Channel
‼️ WAKE UP ‼️
1️⃣2️⃣ hours until kickoff. pic.twitter.com/nJ0UUsSy4K
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 19, 2018
Both teams comfortably lead their respective divisions. The game is due for such a disproportionate viewing that the NFL has made an “unprecedented move” that will see the likes of an “All-Star” officiating crew for the game. The game will exclusively feature referees that are considered “All-Star” caliber, as reported by Kevin Seifert of ESPN. Adam Schefter reports that referee Clete Blakeman will work the game with only two members of his regular crew, as the other five, including Jim Lapetina, will be pulled and will handle replay. Umpire Ramon George and down judge Dana McKenzie of the original crew will remain.
The NFL has an infamous track record of referee debacles on the national stage. The league desperately wants to avoid a repeat of any miscues, especially considering the magnitude of two 9-1 football teams that have been a part of the roaring revival of primetime NFL and palatable young talent. Two key factors will include the returns of wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Marcus Peters to their former teams, and the matchup of perhaps the best pass rush in the league and the potential MVP in Patrick Mahomes.
The matchup is also primed for swathes of scoreboard adjustments, daring playcalling, and star power from two elite offenses and explosive talent all around. The Rams and Chiefs are atop the league in scoring, both first and second, respectively, and are nearly identical in almost every offensive metric. Some figures to articulate just how electric, dominant, and similar these offenses are ahead of what could be a crystal ball of Super Bowl 53: The Rams are scoring 33.5 points per game, and averaging 459.4 Total yards. The Chiefs average 35.3 PPG and 432.6 total yards.
The two juggernauts are neck and neck offensively, and though Kansas City’s defense has raised several red flags, the teams are close in several defensive measures in spite of that. The Chiefs allow 24 PPG, just about league average, while the Rams are just ahead at 24 points allowed per game. The numbers suggest an almost identical matchup between two teams with just one loss apiece, both being to other Super Bowl hopefuls in the Patriots and Saints.
Those two games (Patriots vs. Chiefs on 10/14 and Saints vs. Rams on 11/4) resulted in two of the most spectacular regular season games of the year, and highlighted the minimal distance between the league’s top teams, as both went down to the wire. Monday night’s game has the groundwork to become another one of the instant classics demonstrated earlier in the season.
Monday’s game will start at 8:15 p.m. EST and will air on ESPN.