Chiefs score 34 unanswered in 34-7 rout of Rams
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jamaal Charles shredded the Rams on a pair of touchdown runs. Knile Davis returned a kickoff 99 yards for another score. The Chiefs sacked St. Louis quarterback Austin Davis seven times.
If there was a fourth phase to football, Kansas City probably would have dominated that, too.
After spotting their cross-state rivals the first touchdown, the Chiefs turned up the pressure in every way Sunday. The result was a 34-7 victory, their sixth straight in the series dating to Sept. 24, 1994, when the Rams were still based in Los Angeles.
"Any time you play good in all three facets, you’re going to win a lot of games," said Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, "and it felt like we did that."
Charles, who last week became the Chiefs’ career rushing leader, powered over the left side of the line for a touchdown in the first quarter. He added a 36-yard score early in the fourth, dodging a defender at the line of scrimmage and then accelerating past the Rams’ defense.
Cairo Santos added a pair of field goals for Kansas City (4-3), including a career-best 53-yarder right before halftime. Smith was 24 of 28 for 226 yards, and Davis capped the string of 34 unanswered points with a short touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
By that point, the banged-up Rams (2-5) were just trying to survive.
"It’s disappointing," said coach Jeff Fisher, whose team was coming off a victory over Seattle. "We had a great week, a short-lived bit of momentum, and we weren’t able to put it all together."
Austin Davis finished 15 of 25 for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception, three of his sacks coming at the hands of Justin Houston. It didn’t help that left tackle Jake Long, right guard Rodger Saffold and center Scott Wells sustained injuries during the game.
The Rams were also playing with an injury-depleted defensive backfield.
"You looked at the injuries they had today, they had three or four rookies starting for them on the defensive side," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "That’s tough."
The Rams’ running back by committee proved to be a bust, too. Benny Cunningham, Zac Stacy and Tre Mason were bottled up all game, and St. Louis managed just 84 yards on 19 carries.
"They took some things away and when that happens you’ve got to find a way to get some momentum offensively," Davis said, "and we weren’t able to do that. But my hat really goes off to them. They did a really good job and made a lot of good plays."
The Rams jumped to a 7-0 lead on a pass from Davis to tight end Lance Kendricks on the opening series, but everything went the Chiefs’ way the rest of the game.
Special teams had a lot to do with it.
One week after the Rams used two long returns and an audacious punt fake to beat Seattle, they watched as Greg Zuerlein missed a 38-yard field goal in the second quarter to keep the game 7-7.
Santos hit his 53-yarder for a 10-7 lead right before halftime.
The Chiefs got the ball back to start the third quarter. Knile Davis fielded the kickoff on a bounce, veered to his right and picked up a key block from James-Michael Johnson before going the rest of the way for his second career TD return.
Santos added his second field-goal and Charles punctuated a big day for the offense when he took a carry up the middle, left a defender grasping for air and outran the entire secondary for his second score of the game.
Davis added a 3-yard touchdown plunge in the final minutes as chants of "Let’s Go Royals" filled Arrowhead Stadium.
"We clearly got outplayed in the second half of this game in all three phases," Fisher said. "It wasn’t a good effort and we’ve got our work cut out for us."
NOTES: The Chiefs were awarded the Governor’s Cup for the victory from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon after the game. The Rams had owned it since a 2012 preseason victory. … Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming and LB Josh Martin left with hamstring injuries. … Saffold left with a shoulder injury, Long with a knee injury and Wells with an undisclosed injury. The Rams also lost WR Brian Quick (arm) early in the game and FS Rodney McLeod (knee). … Rams DE Robert Quinn had two sacks.