Chiefs and Rams risk un­beaten starts

Kansas City’s Ma­homes takes on New Eng­land QB Brady, LA hope to con­tinue hot run at Den­ver

Bangkok Post - - NFL -

>> LOS AN­GE­LES: Un­de­feated Kansas City will visit Tom Brady and the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots to­mor­row morn­ing, Thai time, while the un­beaten Los An­ge­les Rams travel to Den­ver for an­other week six NFL con­test.

The last re­main­ing clubs with a chance at a per­fect cam­paign aim for 6-0 starts, with Chiefs quar­ter­back Pa­trick Ma­homes hav­ing made only six ca­reer NFL starts while 41-yearold Pa­tri­ots star passer Brady has won five Su­per Bowls in eight ap­pear­ances.

“He’s one of the great­est quar­ter­backs if not the great­est to ever play. It’s go­ing to be a great op­por­tu­nity,” said 23-year-old Ma­homes, whose fa­ther Pat was a Ma­jor League Base­ball pitcher.

“Just to com­pete against one of the best teams in the league is go­ing to be an awe­some op­por­tu­nity. You want to play against the best.”

Ma­homes has thrown for 1,797 yards and 14 touch­downs while toss­ing only two in­ter­cep­tions, but he knows the Pa­tri­ots de­fend­ers will be try­ing to throw the sec­ond-year stand­out off his game.

“The men­tal­ity we’ve had this en­tire sea­son is that who­ever is open, give them the ball and let them make the play — go­ing to help us out a ton,” said Ma­homes who steered the Chiefs to a 30-14 win over the Jaguars last week.

“They are go­ing to do some stuff to try to con­fuse me, but I am go­ing to try to main­tain our game plan and keep work­ing.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid, go­ing for his 200th NFL vic­tory, knows his Pa­tri­ots coun­ter­part, Bill Belichick, is fa­mous for ver­sa­tile and adapt­able de­fen­sive schemes.

“He mixes and matches. He can change up and give you a com­pletely dif­fer­ent look,” Reid said. “Prepa­ra­tion be­comes im­por­tant so when you look at a route, you make sure you’ve got it down at least men­tally ver­sus all the looks you might face.”

Ma­homes is a threat scram­bling or in the pocket, a fac­tor the Pa­tri­ots (3-2) will try to limit.

“We just want to keep him in the pocket,” Pa­tri­ots de­fen­sive end Trey Flow­ers said. “We’ll just try to con­tain him, get some pres­sure up the mid­dle. We’ve got to be dis­ci­plined in the early downs and make them as un­com­fort­able as pos­si­ble.”

The Rams have not started a sea­son 6-0 since 2001 but will try to match that run with a vic­tory at Den­ver, where the Bron­cos (2-3) will stick with former Rams quar­ter­back Case Keenum.

Den­ver boast a tough two-back run­ning at­tack that ranks fifth in the NFL with 137 rush yards a game be­hind rook­ies Phillip Lind­say and Royce Free­man while the Rams have the league’s fourth-worst run de­fence, sur­ren­der­ing five yards a carry.

“What we’re en­cour­aged about as you watch it as a staff are they’re very fix­able things,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “I think our play­ers will re­spond the right way. For us as coaches, that’s the beauty of this is be­ing able to look at the film, cor­rect and you move for­ward.”

There’s lit­tle to change with the Rams’ at­tack, with Jared Goff com­plet­ing 120 of 166 passes for 1,727 yards and 12 touch­downs, and Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods each above 400 re­cep­tion yards for the sea­son, on top of Todd Gur­ley’s rush­ing threat.

Cooks and Kupp are both ques­tion­able as they work through the NFL con­cus­sion pro­to­col but McVay likes their chances to play. “Ev­ery­thing is good, no set­backs,” he said. “They are pro­gress­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

FIX­TURES

To­day

Ari­zona at Min­nesota, Carolina at Wash­ing­ton, Chicago at Mi­ami, In­di­anapo­lis at Jets, Pitts­burgh at Cincin­nati, Seat­tle at Oak­land (Lon­don), Buf­falo at Hous­ton, Charg­ers at Cleve­land, Tampa Bay at At­lanta, Rams at Den­ver, Bal­ti­more at Ten­nessee, Jack­sonville at Dal­las, Kansas City at New Eng­land

To­mor­row

San Fran­cisco at Green Bay

Chiefs quar­ter­back Pa­trick Ma­homes, left, throws a pass against the Jaguars last Sun­day.

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