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  • Monday night’s thriller between the Rams and the Chiefs was even more than the high-scoring game everyone expected it to be—and the game’s relocation from Mexico City to Los Angeles made for a powerful moment in the wake of the area’s recent tragedies.
By Kalyn Kahler
November 20, 2018

The highly anticipated matchup between the Chiefs and the Rams on Monday Night Football was everything we wanted it to be. In the highest-scoring MNF game in history, a 54–51 victory for the home team, the Kansas City and Los Angeles offenses totaled 1,001 yards, and the Chiefs became the first team to score 50+ points and lose. Jared Goff threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns, which seems pedestrian next to Patrick Mahomes’s 478 yards and six touchdown passes (also a Monday Night Football record). Defenses came to play as well, as the Rams forced five turnovers—Aaron Donald had two strip-sacks, both of which turned into touchdowns.

ORR: Rams-Chiefs Broke the NFL For Good, So What Happens Next?

Aside from the stellar play on the field, Monday Night Football’s relocation to Los Angeles from Mexico City due to poor field conditions made for a powerful, feel-good moment in the wake of several tragedies that have hit California this month. The Rams took the opportunity to honor thousands of first responders and victims of the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire that burned near Los Angeles and people who were impacted by the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7.

The tragedies hit home for the Rams, who train in Thousand Oaks; the team had 45 employees forced to evacuate their homes, including quarterback Jared Goff, star defensive end Aaron Donald and general manager Les Snead. Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth donated his Week 10 gamecheck (approximately $60,000) to the families of the 12 victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting. Last week, the Rams participated in a telethon that raised $1.1 million for wildfire victims. The team took out a full-page ad in the L.A. Times to dedicate Monday night’s game to the city of Los Angeles.

Here are all the ways the Rams honored the area’s recent tragedies during Monday night’s game.

Members of the Cal Lutheran choir sang the national anthem before the start of the game.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

• New Era designed hats for each team that paid tribute to L.A. area fire and law enforcement agencies like California Highway Patrol, LAFD, LAPD, L.A. County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Ventura County Sheriff.

• The Rams gave out thousands of free tickets to L.A.-area first responders and people impacted by the fires.

• The national anthem was sung by members of the Cal Lutheran choir. Justin Meek, an alumnus of Cal Lutheran and a former member of the choir, was one of 12 people killed in the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill.

• The Rams had two honorary waterboys, Derek and Dylan Adler, the sons of Sean Adler, who was killed in the mass shooting. Adler was a wrestling coach at Royal High School in Simi Valley and also a security guard at Borderline, who helped to disarm the shooter that night.

• The Coliseum torch was lit by Karen and Jordan Helus, wife and son of Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus who was killed in the Thousand Oaks shooting. Helus was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene of the shooting.

• The NFL is auctioning off the Chiefs and Rams game-worn hats here to raise money for California wild fire relief.

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HOT READS

NOW ON THE MMQB: Albert Breer’s MMQB this week leads with how the Saints resemble the 2007 Patriots. ... Jack Dickey on Tim Green’s ALS diagnosis, which once again leaves us pondering the connection between the disease and football. ... Andy Benoit on the Ravens’ QB controversy. ... and more.

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Gary Gramling wraps up an exciting NFL Sunday. ... Conor Orr ponders what to make of the mid-tier teams like the Packers and the Broncos. ... Jonathan Jones on the Cowboys nearing the top of a non-competitive NFC East...


PRESS COVERAGE

1. Ryan Tannehill is expected to practice Tuesday in Miami.

2. The Buccaneers will switch quarterbacks again in Week 12. The team announced Monday that Jameis Winston will start Tampa Bay’s next game.

3. In wake of losing Alex Smith for the season, the Redskins signed Mark Sanchez.

4. The NFL called an audible on the assigned officiating crew and assembled an all-star crew of officials for Monday Night Football’s hyped matchup. Five officials were pulled from the original crew, an unusual move for a regular season game.

5. Hats off to the old boss, Peter King, who had inside access to the Saints’ Saturday night meetings before they dominated the Eagles Sunday. You’ll learn a lot about Drew Brees and Sean Payton’s relationship.


THE KICKER

On the hypothetical news front, Jerry Jones says if he had to sell the Cowboys, he wouldn’t take less than $10 billion.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com.

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