Rams give up 34 straight in 34-7 loss to Chiefs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Rams were probably happy when their game against the Chiefs on Sunday in Kansas City came to a merciful end, and it wasn’t just because of the lopsided score.
If the teams kept playing, St. Louis might have run out of players.
Already dealing with numerous injuries at kickoff, the Rams absorbed several more during a 34-7 thumping. Among them were injuries to veteran left tackle Jake Long and right guard Rodger Saffold, a big reason quarterback Austin Davis was sacked seven times.
"It’s kind of scary," said tight end Lance Kendricks, who scored the Rams’ lone touchdown. "But we’ve got to put the next one out there and just continue to play the game."
Jamaal Charles ran for a pair of touchdowns for Kansas City, and Knile Davis returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score. Davis also added a short touchdown run to cap the scoring.
Meanwhile, rookie kicker Cairo Santos banged through a pair of field goals, including a career-best 53-yarder, and Alex Smith finished 24 of 28 for 226 yards through the air.
"We clearly got outplayed in the second half of this game in all three phases," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "We gave up the run, which we knew they could do it. We also gave up a high completion percentage on defense. We also gave up too many third downs. It wasn’t a good effort."
It was the sixth straight time the Rams (2-5) lost to the Chiefs (4-3) dating to Sept. 25, 1994, when they were still based in Los Angeles.
Austin Davis was 15 of 25 for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception, three of his sacks coming at the hands of Justin Houston behind his makeshift offensive line.
Long sustained a knee injury, Saffold a shoulder injury and wide receiver Brian Quick an arm injury. Center Scott Wells also left for a while, and not even Fisher was certain how long any of those players will be out.
"I’ll assess our injury situation in the next 24 hours," he said. "I know we’re going to have some players miss some time. How much and whom, I don’t know."
After the Rams opened a 7-0 lead on Kendricks’ touchdown catch, everything went the Chiefs’ way the rest of the game. And 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-all.
Santos hit his 53-yarder for a 10-7 lead right before halftime.
"Any time they send you out there and expect you to make a field goal, obviously, you should, being that close." Zuerlein said. "It happens. I’ve got to get better."
The Chiefs had won the coin toss and deferred, so they got the ball back to start the third quarter. 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 later in the third quarter, and Charles punctuated a big day for the Kansas City offense when he took a carry up the middle, left a defender grasping for air and then out-ran the entire Rams 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. Kansas City was scheduled to play the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the World Series, with the first pitch scheduled for a few hours later.
"Any time you play good in all three facets, you’re going to win a lot of games," Smith said, "and it felt like we did that. Early on, offensively we left a little bit out there, kind of let them off the hook a bit, but they’re a good defense. There in the second half we got rolling."
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. … The Rams also lost FS Rodney McLeod (knee). … Rams DE Robert Quinn had two sacks.