“It was exciting, it was thrilling and it is the future. There is no longer an NFL of 6-3 games, this is the new NFL so buckle the f*** up because if you aren’t ready than the new NFL is going to hit you like a tsunami,” Good Morning Football and NFL Network Analyst Peter Schrager said.
The Los Angeles Rams beat the Kansas City Chiefs with a final score of 54-51 on Nov. 19, 2018. This was the first time in the Super Bowl Era of the NFL that two teams who have only one loss played each other after week ten. It was a night of firsts, being that never before in NFL history has the NFL leader in sacks played the NFL passing leader in touchdowns; defensive tackle Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams faced off against passing leader quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, and running back Todd Gurley played Mahomes again for the first time that the leader in rushing yards played against the leader in passing yards in the Super Bowl Era of the NFL.
With star–studded rosters on both teams, the hype leading up to this prime time showdown was tremendous. However, getting to this game was a lot harder than initially planned. The game was initially supposed to be played at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, but the stadium field was ruined by Shakira’s performance. As soon as the NFL realized that the field was unsafe for the players to play on, action was taken.
“We sent our groundskeeper down to the field and they said that it was a liability for our players. As soon as we heard that news we called the NFL and then made the appropriate actions to switch the games,” Rams Executive Vice President and COO Kevin Demoff said in an interview.
While the game had to be moved for safety purposes, setting up for a home game in one week is a extremely difficult task, especially with everything going on in the city at that time. 12 people lost their lives in a tragic shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill. On Nov. 8, Los Angeles faced more when the Woolsey fire burned through northwestern Los Angeles. The Woolsey fire burned more than 300,000 acres and sent just about as many of those people into evacuation. This fire greatly impacted the community, but it also impacted the Los Angeles Rams organization very closely. Over 135 people in the Rams organization were evacuated and multiple members of the organization’s homes were damaged in the fires.
“With all the distractions in the city at the time it was definitely hard to not only focus and prepare for the game but also to schedule an entirely new home game,” Demoff said.
With the game being moved from Mexico City and the everything going on in Los Angeles at the time, the prime time game on Monday night was a perfect way to bring the community together and just enjoy a great game of football.
“With everything going on in LA, our marketing teams came up with the slogan ‘LA Together,‘ this led to the rally towels and the slideshows on the video board. Not only that but there were over 7,000 first responders and fire victims who were given seats by either players or the organization. I really think we took some tragic events and brought them together and created a spectacular night for the community of Los Angeles,” Demoff said.
All of the buildup and all of the insanity going on in the city of LA, and the game still topped it all.
“The game was insane. I have never seen two more evenly matched teams face up against each,” Fox Sports Analyst and Co- Host of the show Skip and Shannon Undisputed Shannon Sharpe said on Skip and Shannon.
Micheal Irvin of ESPN said in a broadcast that this game was one of those once in a generation games, and we will be lucky to see another game close to as good as this in the next 20 years.
“I mean, there wasn’t one bad moment in the entire game, every play was well thought out and executed perfectly. It was a pleasure to watch and I thank the football gods for allowing a game like that to occur,” Irvin said.
While this may just have been a game where two of the NFL’s top teams faced off, it also is a pioneer game for the direction the NFL is heading. The NFL and football itself is evolving from a defensive oriented, low scoring run only game, to an explosive, fast based offensive style of play.
“I truly think that this was a game that we will remember, and not for the reasons that you may think. I think that this game symbolized the direction the NFL is going adn how offensive shootouts are becoming the new normal in the NFL. I think while defense is evolving into less about total yards, it is evolving more into making plays and being able to create turnovers and give your team extra possessions to then go and score more points,” said Nate Burelson CBS Sports and Good Morning Football Commentator said on Good Morning Football.