The much-hyped Monday Night Football game against the Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs and Jared Goff’s Los Angeles Rams lived up to the billing and then some. It wasn’t just a barn-burner, it was an historic barn-burner, amassing the most points of any Monday NFL game ever (105 points total) and featured, for the first time ever, both teams scoring over 50 points (Chiefs 51, Rams 54). It also ended up costing Las Vegas a bunch of money.
The game, which has already been deemed one of the greatest, if not “the greatest regular season NFL game ever,” contained eight lead changes, including four in the final quarter and two ties. The Chiefs racked up 546 yards on 69 plays (448 passing, 98 rushing), while the Rams gained 455 yards on 75 plays (379 passing, 76 rushing). The yardage total, 1,001, isn’t a new record, but ranks highly.
The league’s most must-watch QB, Mahomes, went 33 for 46, amassed 478 yards passing (10.6 yards per pass), and threw 6 TDs (as well as 3 INTs), earning him a QBR of 77.1 and a passer rating of 117.6. Goff was also impressive, going 31 for 49, amassing 413 yards (8.4 yards per pass), and throwing 4 TDs and no INTs (QBR 78.1, Rating 117.1).
All those eye-popping stats led to a point total of 105, which was great news for viewers who like to see a lot of offense, but terrible news for Las Vegas. The sportsbooks don’t usually miss, but this time, more than two-thirds of those who bet the over/under came out ahead.
“Sportsbooks set the total for Monday night’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams at an astronomical 64 — and the two teams blew past that by 41 points,” ESPN’s Ben Fawkes reports. “Michael Grodsky, spokesperson for William Hill, which has 108 sportsbooks in Nevada, told ESPN the game was a ‘healthy seven-figure loss’ for the book, with 69 percent of customers betting the over.”
That 64, Fawkes notes, is the highest over/under for an NFL game since at least 1986. The previous high was 62 total points (the Rams-49ers matchup back in 2000, which the Rams also won, 34-24).
While Mahomes was once again spectacular, racking up the most yards yet of his young career and once again reaching the 6 TD mark, he had a rough night when it came to protecting the ball. He threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball twice, the Rams defense doing enough to, at times, disrupt his otherwise brilliant game. That, in the end, is what won them the Rams the game despite losing the yardage battle.
As for the argument that this might be “the greatest regular season game ever,” here’s ESPN’s Bill Barnwell making the case:
What makes this game stand out is the sheer scope of the late-game drama. This is the only game on the list that had four lead changes in the fourth quarter, and that included the Chiefs coming back from a 10-point deficit at the beginning of the period. In most cases, when a fourth quarter has multiple lead changes, it usually includes one team scoring at the very end of the game without leaving its newly trailing opponent a meaningful shot at winning the game. The Chiefs went down 54-51 with 1:49 left and actually had two realistic shots of setting up for a game-winning touchdown or a game-tying field goal, only for Patrick Mahomes to be intercepted twice.
The numbers are almost comical. Mahomes threw for 478 yards and six touchdowns, becoming the second quarterback in league history to post two six-touchdown games in a single season. Jared Goff was good for 413 yards and four scores of his own. Between 1990 and 2009, there was exactly one regular-season game in which both quarterbacks topped 400 passing yards, a Dolphins-Patriots game that is an honorable mention here.