Sorry, Jared Goff and Samson Ebukam, the hero of the Rams' win over the Chiefs was punter Johnny Hekker.
1. In a game dominated by high-octane offenses and big turnovers on defense, the most important play in the Rams' 54-51 win over the Chiefs was a punt. Yes, a punt.
With all due respect to Patrick Mahomes's insane effort (478 yards, 6 TDs) and Samson Ebukam, who scored TWO defensive touchdowns, the hero of the night was Rams punter, Johnny Hekker.
With L.A. clinging to that three-point lead and 1:04 left in the game, Hekker booted a 68-yard punt from his own 34-yard line that drove Chiefs returner Tyreke Hill back to the endzone. Hill was only able to bring the punt back to his 12 yard line, while also wasting 14 precious seconds.
So instead of K.C. getting the ball at the 25 with 1:04 left, it got the ball at the 12 with 50 seconds left. You will never convince me that with the way the Chiefs offense was playing they wouldn't have driven into field-goal territory to at least attempt a game-tying kick. And quite frankly, we all deserved that game going to overtime.
Hekker knew he pretty much sealed the win, too, because he celebrated like a madman—and rightfully so.
2. Other notable items from the Game of the Year:
• I wrote Monday that ESPN needed to just show us the game and put the bells and whistles away. The network did that and deserve credit for it. There were no cutaways to Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten in the booth, there was not cutting to Booger McFarland on his crane during game action. The camera shots of the back of the announcers' heads seems to be gone, too. Kudos to ESPN for sticking to what took place on the field. As for the announcers, Jason Witten has gotten beaten up pretty bad. It's Thanksgiving week and I don't want to kick the guy while he's down, so I'll just say that Witten had another very rough night calling the action.
• Vegas sportsbooks took a bath last night, with 69% of customers betting the over 63/64, which was the highest over/under in an NFL game since 1986.
• The game was ESPN's highest rated Monday Night Football telecast (11.3) since 2014.
• There was so much offensive action, the game broke Yahoo Sports's fantasy scoring system.
We are aware of an issue with missing stats for some MNF players. Our team is currently working on a fix.— Yahoo Fantasy Sports (@YahooFantasy) November 20, 2018
3. The only thing more embarrassing than missing a dunk is missing a windmill dunk.
4. Someone let Georgia's Prather Hudson know that ESPN's Laura Rutledge is married.
5. This "Bad Beat" was highlighted by Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter on Monday night, but for some reason ESPN hasn't posted the video yet. Take a look at this summary:
🚨 BAD BEAT ALERT 🚨— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 18, 2018
Air Force (+3) leads 27-14 with 5 minutes to play.
Wyoming scores 14 unanswered to take a 1-point lead with 1:09 remaining
Air Force throws an INT.
Wyoming tries to run out the clock but ends up running for a TD
Final Score: Wyoming 35 Air Force 27
Here's what's left out of that tweet: What happened on that touchdown Wyoming scored while it were trying to run out the clock? There was a holding penalty on the Cowboys. Air Force declined it, however, giving Wyoming the touchdown and the cover.
You can watch the highlights here to see just how absurd a cover it was for the Cowboys.
6. Knicks center Enes Kanter is copying The Rock's schtick of posting his "cheat day" meal to social media and we'd pay money to see Kanter eat all of this.
View this post on Instagram
The cheat meal Sunday Sushi Train 🍣 🚂 rolled on this past weekend with some power and a ton of that wooosabi 🔥 Great new doc on Netflix about one of my fav country artists, the icon himself, Johnny Cash. I wear the black for the poor and beaten down.. livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town. If you ain’t eatin’ - then you ain’t cheatin’. Enjoy your cheat meals my friends and excuse me while I take greed and gluttony to new levels. #FilthyAnimal #SooshTrain 🥢
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Adrian Beltre announced his retirement Tuesday, so I had to post my favorite moment from his career.
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IN CLOSING: The Rams and Chiefs both have byes this week. I'd say they're well deserved.