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McVay, Rams Offensive Coaches Often Study Chiefs Film for Play Ideas

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It happened last year, but perhaps you remember it.

Week 4, Rams at Cowboys, midway through the third quarter. Quarterback Jared Goff faked a jet sweep to then-wide receiver Tavon Austin, and then fired a timing pass down the right seam to running back Todd Gurley, who caught the ball in stride and darted to the end zone for a 53-yard touchdown.

That play bore a certain resemblance to one Kansas City ran a few weeks before in front of a national audience.

Playing against the Patriots in the NFL's first game of the season, the Chiefs were down 27-21 early in the fourth quarter. On 1st-and-10 from Kansas City's own 22, then-quarterback Alex Smith sent wide receiver Tyreek Hill in jet sweep motion from the slot from left to right, faked a handoff to him, then fired a deep pass to running back Kareem Hunt down the right seam for a 78-yard touchdown.

Even then, Rams head coach Sean McVay admitted he's not ashamed to take a concept or a play from another team in the league and implement it in L.A. if he feels like it works for the players. And that's something he reiterated on Thursday, saying he "for sure" regularly watches film of Week 11 opponent Kansas City to see what head coach Andy Reid and his offensive staff have cooked up to beat defenses.

"Like you've heard me say before, really our coaching staff as a whole [are] fans of the game. And there's so much good tape. And with the ability to easily access it week in and week out, it'd be silly for us not to be able to look and see what the heck they're doing," McVay said on Thursday. "And every single week they do something, you say, 'That's pretty good.' You know? And guys are making great plays."

"[Y]eah, the Chiefs are a team that's popped up quite a few times," pass-game coordinator Shane Waldron said. "They are leading the league in explosives — or right up in the top couple with us. So it's been some good film to watch for us."

There's a recent example of L.A. using a K.C. concept from this season, too. During the Chiefs' Week 4 victory over the Broncos, quarterback Patrick Mahomes fired a short tight-end screen to the right side of the field for a two-yard touchdown. The Rams didn't run it exactly like the Chiefs, but did employ a similar concept on their two-point conversion in New Orleans.

With the play coming from the two-yard line, tight end Gerald Everett initially lined up outside of wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods on the left. Goff put Everett in motion to the right, received the snap from center John Sullivan, then fired a quick pass to Everett, who dove into the end zone on the TE screen to tie the game.

"I'd be lying if I sad we haven't stolen some of their stuff this year," McVay said. "So, they do a great job."

You've probably heard a lot about these two dynamic offenses as the Rams and Chiefs get set to play on Monday Night Football, and that will continue to be the case as the week continues. After all, these are two of the three teams averaging over 33 points a game and are the only two clubs to average at least 6.9 yards per play.

Because of that, the respect goes both ways when it comes to the two offensive minded head coaches, as Reid was effusive in his praise of McVay on his conference call with L.A. media on Thursday.

"He's done a heck of a job. He's done a great job. He's great for the National Football League — that's what's most important," Reid said. "And for [Rams Owner/Chairman] Mr. Kroenke, he's great for the Rams and the city of Los Angeles, which I've got a special place in my heart for. I think he handles everything very well."