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Monday Night Melee

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The Monday Night Melee
LAKC-Coliseum.jpg
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum immediately following the Los Angeles Rams' 54-51 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
1234 Total
KC 716721 51
LA 13101714 54
DateNovember 19, 2018
StadiumLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
FavoriteRams -3.0
RefereeClete Blakeman
Attendance77,002
TV in the United States
NetworkESPN
AnnouncersJoe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland and Lisa Salters

The Monday Night Melee was an NFL Monday Night Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 19, 2018.[1] Originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, Mexico, the game was shifted to Los Angeles, California on short notice. The showdown between a pair of 9-1 teams featured six lead changes, including four in the fourth quarter. The game featured 1,001 yards in total offense and the 105 points scored was the third-highest combined single-game point total in NFL history.

Background[edit | edit source]

The inter-conference matchup was originally slated to be part of the NFL International Series, and was scheduled to be played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which had hosted games the previous two seasons. However, the playing field was found to be in deficient condition after rains earlier in the month and a heavy event schedule, which included a Shakira concert and a soccer tournament match played by Cruz Azul. As League and stadium officials evaluated the scene, pictures of the poor conditions began to circulate on social media. Unable to remedy the situation in time for the game, and faced with pressure from players who reportedly considered sitting out the game rather than risk potential injury, the NFL announced that the game would be moved to Los Angeles just six days before the game was to be played.[2] League rules required the designated home team (in this case, the Rams) to maintain availability of their home stadium as a contingency. Team officials and personnel worked quickly to secure facilities, logistics and event staff for the game, as the Rams were not scheduled to play at the Coliseum again for another month. The cancellation of the game in Mexico City was a disappointment to the NFL and local officials, and in particular to fans of both teams who had spent thousands of dollars for tickets and travel costs.[3] Tickets purchased through either the Rams or Chiefs were refunded, and several air carriers offered travel credits for fans who had booked flights.

Added to the challenge of putting on the game itself was the fact that the Greater Los Angeles Area had itself been reeling in the wake of the Thousand Oaks shooting on November 7, in which 12 people were gunned down at a restaurant in Thousand Oaks, California, and the Woolsey Fire which broke out a day later. The fire had continued to rage, forcing Rams staff to evacuate the team's administrative offices in Agoura Hills and their practice facility at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. The fire continued to burn for nearly two weeks, including the time of the game itself. Many Rams employees were personally affected by the Woolsey Fire, with some being evacuated multiple times from their homes and nearby hotels as the fire threatened local communities. The Rams organization covered all emergency expenses for club personnel during the crisis.

The Rams players and coaches had already traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado in order to prepare for the high-altitude conditions they expected to encounter in Mexico. With the game being moved to Los Angeles and their homes and practice facility still under threat from the fire, the Rams opted to stay in place and continue with their scheduled activities, which included closed practice sessions held at the Air Force Academy.[4]. Additionally, Rams owner [{Stan Kroenke]] chartered a plane to bring family members to join the team at the Broodmoor Resort in Colorado Springs. Rams players were also guests at a Denver Nuggets game during their time in Colorado (the Nuggets are owned by Kroenke's wife Ann and run by his son Josh).[5]

On Monday, November 19, 2018, a capacity crowd was on hand as the Rams and Chiefs prepared to face off for the Coliseum's first Monday Night NFL game since 1985, and the Rams' first Monday Night game there since 1979. The Rams distributed more than 3,000 game tickets to first responders and people affected by the shooting and fires. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Honor Guard presented the colors as members of the Cal Lutheran University choir performed the national anthem before the game. Karen and Jordan Helus, wife and son of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was slain in the Thousand Oaks shooting, performed the ceremonial lighting of the Coliseum’s Olympic torch just before kickoff, and local mayors of the stricken communities participated in the coin toss.[6]

Game Summary[edit | edit source]

First Quarter[edit | edit source]

Receiving the opening kickoff, the Rams drove 75 yards in seven plays, with quarterback Jared Goff finding wide receiver Robert Woods for a 7-yard touchdown pass, with kicker Greg Zuerlein missing the point-after attempt. Following a Chiefs punt, the Rams mounted a 10-play, 83-yard drive that ended with Goff connecting with wide receiver [[Josh Reynolds (American football) from four yards out and (with a successful Zuerlein PAT) a 13-0 lead for Los Angeles. The Chiefs struck quickly as running back Kareem Hunt had a 27-yard run while quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed three straight passes for 48 yards, the last going 25 yards to wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a touchdown. The Rams, who benefited from nine penalties called on the Chiefs in the opening period, started from their own 16 and ended the first quarter with 2nd-and-goal at the Kansas City 5-yard-line.

Second Quarter[edit | edit source]

Following an incomplete pass, Zuerlein converted a 23-yard field goal to put the Rams up 16-7. From there, Mahomes and Hunt led the Chiefs down to L.A.'s 1-yard-line. But on 3rd-and-goal, Hunt was tackled for a 1-yard loss by Rams strong safety John Johnson, forcing Kansas City to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Harrison Butker. On the Rams' next drive, Goff was sacked twice, the second by defensive end Allen Bailey, who stripped Goff of the ball and recovered the fumble himself at the Ram 21. The Chiefs struck quickly as Mahomes hit Hunt for a 21-yard screen pass that with Butker's PAT put Kansas City on top 17-16. The Rams stalled on their next drive, but punter Johnny Hekker's 55-yard punt pinned the Chiefs inside their own 10. The Chiefs moved out to their own 22 when on 2nd-and-8 just after the two-minute warning, Mahomes was sacked by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and separated from the ball, which was picked up by linebacker Samson Ebukam at the 11 and taken in for a touchdown and a 23-17 advantage for the Rams. Mahomes shook off the turnover and rallied the Chiefs by completing six passes in seven attempts on a 69-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chris Conley with 20 seconds remaining before halftime. However, Butker missed the extra point, and the score was tied 23-23 at the intermission.

Third Quarter[edit | edit source]

Coming out of the locker room, the Chiefs were poised to reclaim the lead, taking the second half kickoff and driving down to the Ram 25-yard-line. But Donald got to Mahomes again with another sack and forced fumble, which was recovered by defensive end John Franklin-Myers at the Kansas City 46. From there, Jared Goff completed four passes to guide the Rams to the Chief 7. Finding no one open on 3rd-and-goal, Goff ran it in himself for the touchdown, lobbing the football over the crossbar as Los Angeles seized a 30-23 lead. The Chiefs tied things up on their next possession, with tight end Travis Kelce taking a Mahomes pass for a 33-yard catch-and-run to set up a 1st-and-goal situation. Two plays later, Mahomes and Kelce connected again for a 4-yard touchdown and a 30-30 deadlock. The Rams retaliated as Goff found running back Todd Gurley for screen passes of 19 and 13 yards. Los Angeles drove down to the Kansas City 15, where Zuerlein convereted his second field goal of the night, this time from 33 yards out and a 33-30 lead. Following a touchback, Mahomes' short pass attempt was intercepted at the line of scrimmage by Ebukam, who returned it 25 yards for a touchdown (plowing over Mahomes and Hunt in the process) to put the Rams up by 10 points.

Fourth Quarter[edit | edit source]

After the teams traded punts on the next two possessions, the Chiefs swung momentum their way with Mahomes throwing deep to a wide-open Hill for a 73-yard touchdown pass play. On the Rams' next drive, Goff was sacked by linebacker Justin Houston who stripped the ball away. Allen Bailey grabbed the ball before it had a chance to hit the ground and returned it two yards to put Kansas City back in the lead 44-40. The Rams came back as Goff found Josh Reynolds (27 yards) and Robert Woods (36 yards) for big gains that led to a 7-yard scoring strike to tight end Gerald Everett and a 47-40 edge for L.A. Both teams went three-and-out on their next possessions before Mahomes led a six-play, 65 yard drive that ended with a 10-yard score to wide receiver Chris Conley with 2:47 remaining, Mahomes' sixth touchdown pass of the game as the Chiefs went up 51-47. It would take only six plays for the Rams to regain the lead, as Goff found Everett deep down the right sideline. Everett beat the coverage by Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen, gathered in the pass at the Chiefs 15, then tiptoed down the sideline to stay in bounds for the touchdown and a 54-51 lead. With 1:44 left in the game, Mahomes drove the Chiefs to midfield, but a deep pass attempt was intercepted by Rams cornerback Marcus Peters, who was facing his former team for the first time. However, a false start penalty on tackle Andrew Whitworth took the Rams out of their game plan, and they were forced to punt. But Hekker, a four-time all-pro punter, boomed his kick 68 yards into the Chiefs end zone. Tyreek Hill returned the punt 14 yards with under a minute remaining. Mahomes connected with Kelce and Conley for short passes, but throwing under pressure from his own 25, Mahomes' last deep pass was picked off by Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner, and Los Angeles was able to run out the remaining 13 seconds.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Towels touting the #LATogether message were given out to attendees of the Rams' Monday Night Football game.

With 105 points, the Rams-Chiefs matchup was the highest-scoring game in the history of Monday Night Football, bettering a 48-47 victory by the Green Bay Packers over the Washington Redskins in 1983. It was also the third-highest scoring game in NFL history, with only a 58-48 Cincinnati Bengals win over the Cleveland Browns in 2004 (106 points) and a 72-41 victory of the New York Giants against the Washington Redskins (114 points) scoring more. The 14 touchdowns scored by both teams were tied for the second-most in NFL history.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 31 of 49 passes for 413 yards (his second 400-yard passing game of the season) and four touchdowns, surpassing 3,000 yards for the season. It was also his third fourth quarter comeback victory in four weeks, fourth of the season and fifth of his career. Wide receiver [{Brandin Cooks]] had eight receptions for 107 yards. Rams running back Todd Gurley had 12 carries for 55 yards to add to his NFL rushing yardage lead, putting him over 1,000 yards rushing for the third time in his four-year career. However, Gurley (who also added three receptions for 39 yards) was held without a touchdown for the first time in the season, and his team-record 13-game touchdown scoring streak, which was tied with John Riggins, George Rogers, and Jerry Rice for the third-longest in NFL history, came to an end. On defense, linebacker Samson Ebukam was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after scoring touchdowns on an interception and a fumble recovery return, along with three tackles and a sack. Aaron Donald had two sacks and two forced fumbles, and John Johnson led the Rams with 11 tackles.

For the Chiefs, quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 478 yards on 33-for-46 passing, the second-highest single-game total in Chiefs team history. Mahomes also threw for six touchdowns for the second time in 2018 (equaling the team record mark he shares with Len Dawson), but was also intercepted a season- and career-high three times. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill had the best single-game performance of his career with 10 catches for 257 yards and two touchdowns. Travis Kelce also had 10 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. Running back Kareem Hunt had 14 carries for 70 yards on the ground and three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. It would be the last game Hunt would play in a Chiefs uniform, as video footage later surfaced regarding Hunt's involvement in an episode of violence was released via TMZ. Hunt was released by the Chiefs on November 30, 2018. Cornerback Ron Parker led Kansas City with eight tackles, while defensive tackle Chris Jones recorded two sacks.

The game was widely praised by many journalists and sports media figures who saw the game, who cited the high score and the wild back-and-forth nature of the contest, combined with the drama that had unfolded in the preceding two weeks. It was hailed as an "Instant Classic" by USA Today's Jarrett Bell.[7]

ESPN writer Bill Barnwell declared the contest to be the greatest regular-season NFL game ever,[8] while Nate Davis of USA Today ranked it the No. 2 all-time regular season game in NFL history.[9]

Said Kevin Demoff, Rams chief operating officer, “When the NFL put a team in Los Angeles, they couldn’t have dreamed of this. There were 77,000 people here on five days’ notice. One of the greatest games of the year, halftime concert, rallying an entire city. It’s beyond words.”[10]

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times hailed the game as "A huge moment for the NFL in Los Angeles," writing "This was one of those games that will be burned into the memory banks of just about everyone who watched it."[11]

Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register commented, "In the end, the Rams did just enough to beat Kansas City 54-51 and improve to 10-1. Any Super Bowl would be proud to house the sequel."[12]

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke praised the team's "LATogether" slogan as a defining message that firmly united the Rams with the Los Angeles community less than three years after relocating from St. Louis, writing, "It began with the honoring of a community’s perseverance, ended with an ode to the toughness of its football team, the Rams coming back to defeat the Chiefs in a breathless, bonding classic."[13]

Following the game, both Jared Goff and Andrew Whitworth returned to the field to greet and comfort the families of victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting. “A lot of stuff has been going on the last couple weeks,” Goff said. “Hopefully, we can provide some joy, some normalcy in the last few hours and a lot of fun for people hopefully to get their minds off anything they’re dealing with.” Added Whitworth: “You sometimes realize things are bigger than yourself,” Whitworth said in the locker room, fighting back the emotion. “This has been one of those moments. Coming off a win, you realize quickly there’s a whole lot of things more important than football. Just to be able to put some joy in these people’s hearts, to hear those mommas say thank you … it’s tough.”[6]

Game summary[edit | edit source]

2018 Week 11: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams
1 2 34Total
Chiefs 7 16 72151
Rams 13 10 171454

at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Game information

Officials[edit | edit source]

  • Referee: Clete Blakeman (34)
  • Line Judge: Rusty Baynes (59)
  • Back Judge: Tony Steratore (112)
  • Umpire: Ramon George (128)
  • Field Judge: Dale Shaw (104)
  • Down Judge: Dana McKenzie (8)
  • Side Judge: Brad Freeman (88)
  • Replay Official: Jim Lapetina (0)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams - November 19th, 2018 - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  2. "NFL moves Chiefs-Rams from Mexico City to L.A." espn.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  3. "'Colossal Shame,' anger in Mexico City over loss of NFL game". yahoo.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  4. brent.briggeman@gazette.com, BRENT BRIGGEMAN. "Rams to stay in Colorado Springs despite NFL's decision not to play in Mexico City". gazette.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  5. "Two weeks that could have knocked the Rams off track". espn.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Rams honor people affected by Borderline shooting, fires during emotional Monday night". vcstar.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  7. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/rams/2018/11/20/los-angeles-rams-kansas-city-chiefs-shootout/2063806002/
  8. http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25328333/2018-nfl-los-angeles-rams-win-kansas-city-chiefs-was-greatest-regular-season-win-ever
  9. https://www.vcstar.com/story/sports/nfl/2018/11/20/rams-chiefs-best-regular-season-nfl-games-history/2064755002/
  10. https://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp-rams-chiefs-farmer-20181119-story.html
  11. https://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp-rams-chiefs-farmer-20181119-story.html
  12. https://www.ocregister.com/2018/11/19/whicker-no-vacancy-in-the-coliseum-end-zones-on-a-record-breaking-night-for-rams-chiefs/
  13. https://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-rams-chiefs-plaschke-20181119-story.html

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:NFL on ESPN


Category:2018 National Football League season Category:National Football League games Category:Los Angeles Rams Category:Monday Night Football Category:Kansas City Chiefs Category:2018 in sports in Los Angeles Category:American football in Los Angeles Category:Sports in Los Angeles Category:American football incidents

Monday Night Melee - review[edit | edit source]

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