Halftime Notes: Rams, Chiefs Living Up to the Billing, Tied 23-23 at the Half

The Rams and Chiefs are engaged in a true back-and-forth matchup at the L.A. Coliseum, with the game tied 23-23 heading into halftime. Here are a few notes from the first two quarters of the marquee Monday night marquee matchup.

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STRIKING FIRST

Starting with the ball, the Rams made quick work of their first drive — going 75 yards in six plays to take an early lead.

Quarterback Jared Goff connected with wideout Brandin Cooks on consecutive plays to get the Rams into Chiefs territory, with the second play a 30-yard catch-and-run on a slant.

But it was wide receiver Robert Woods who got the Rams on the board, with Goff hitting the wideout on a crossing route to the back-left corner of the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown. With the score, Woods now has four receiving touchdowns on the season.

Kicker Greg Zuerlein, however, missed the extra point, keeping the score at 6-0, L.A.

HECK OF A CATCH

Wide receiver Josh Reynolds — starting in place of Cooper Kupp — made his presence known on Los Angeles’ second possession.

First, the wideout caught a 14-yard pass over the middle, getting drilled in the process but holding on to the football regardless.

Then Reynolds caught his third touchdown of the season, making a four-yard reception in the back-right corner of the end zone to give L.A. a two-touchdown lead. Reynolds had to reach over the defender to make the catch, and did so seemingly with ease.

Zuerlein nailed his extra point to give L.A. a 13-0 lead.

KANSAS CITY ON THE BOARD

Following Los Angeles second touchdown, it didn’t take long for Kansas City to remove the zero next to its name on the scoreboard.

The Chiefs’ first play of the possession — a short pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to tight end Travis Kelce — went only three yards. But from there, the visitors had little resistance to get to the end zone.

Running back Kareem Hunt went 27 yards up the middle. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill caught a 20-yard pass on comeback route to the left. And then Mahomes hit Hill on the left side again — this time with a 25-yard touchdown pass to the end zone.

With the extra point, K.C. cut into the lead to make the score 13-7.

JUST SHORT

The Rams were able to increase their lead on their third drive, but they were about an inch short of another touchdown.

On 2nd-and-goal from the K.C. five, Reynolds caught a pass in the back-left corner of the end zone. And while he dragged his toes on the left foot, his right foot was already about an inch out of bounds — rending the play incomplete.

On 3rd-and-5, the officials initially called defensive pass interference, but reversed it after Chiefs head coach Andy Reid won his challenge that the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage.

With Zuerlein’s 23-yard field goal, L.A. brought the score to 16-7.

HOLD ‘EM TO A FG

While Kansas City got back on the board, a strong play by safety John Johnson kept the visitors out of the end zone with a big third-down tackle.

The Chiefs lined up in the pistol on 3rd-and-goal from the L.A. one-yard line, and Mahomes sprinted to his left for an option play. The quarterback pitched it to Hunt, but Johnson used his speed to knock last year’s rushing champion out of bounds for a loss, keeping Kansas City to a field goal.

CAN’T TURN IT OVER

Los Angeles has done a nice job staying out of giveaways in 2018, but had one on its fourth drive to lead to a Kansas City touchdown.

After being sacked for an eight-yard loss on 2nd-and-5, Goff was dropped again on third down — but this time he fumbled, too. The Chiefs recovered at Los Angeles’ 21-yard line for a big extra possession.

And it didn’t take long for the visitors to capitalize on the takeaway, with Mahomes dealing a screen to Hunt on the right side for a one-play, 21-yard touchdown drive.

With the extra point, the Chiefs had a 17-16 lead with 6:28 left in the first half.

DONALD BEING DONALD

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald recorded a strip-sack on Mahomes late in the first half to put Los Angeles back on the board.

Donald came in with the strip, but then outside linebacker Samson Ebukam recovered the loose ball at the Kansas City 11-yard line, scooping and scoring for a touchdown to put L.A. back on top. With the extra point, the Rams took a 23-17 lead with just under two minutes in the first half.

GURLEY REACHES 1,000

With a five-yard carry in the second quarter, running back Todd Gurley reached 1,000 yards rushing on the 2018 season.

Gurley is currently on pace to rush for 1,581 yards in 2018.

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