NFL Preview: Rams vs. Chiefs

Anyone who questioned quarterback Matt Cassell’s importance to the Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) need only to look at the results of their game against the San Diego Chargers last week while Cassell was sidelined after undergoing appendectomy surgery. His replacement at quarterback, Brodie Croyle, passed for only 40 yards and was replaced by Tyler Palko in a 31-0 loss to the Chargers.

With the Chargers winning again 34-7 on Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs need a win against the St. Louis Rams (6-7) in week 15 of the NFL season to keep their place atop the AFC West standings. Without Cassell, that task will be much more difficult.

The Chiefs own the #1 running game in the NFL with Jamaal Charles (1177 yards) and Thomas Jones (766) but just running the ball proved ineffective in their loss to San Diego. WR Dwayne Bowe has 14 TDs but he’s a useless weapon without someone to get him the ball. The defense will need to step too, and they have a chance against the young Rams.

The Rams are 4-2 at home but are coming off a bad loss to the Saints, 31-13. At 6-7, the Rams still have a chance to make the playoffs playing in the weakest division in the NFL, the NFC West, so this game means a lot to both teams. Has rookie quarterback Sam Bradford hit the wall? He seemed overmatched against the Saints but this game will be more telling.

This game is off most boards in Vegas due to the quarterback uncertainty but you have to like the Rams chances if Cassell cannot go.

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