Two NFL teams remain undefeated though five games — the Rams and Chiefs.
Which is the better team?
I’ll take the Rams, based on the fact they have a defense that can at least come close to matching their powerful offense, while the Chiefs rely too heavily on their prolific offense.
The Rams have outscored their opponents 173-98. Just four teams, among those who’ve played five games, have allowed fewer points than the Rams.
The Chiefs, the second-highest-scoring team in the league, have outscored their opponents 175-129. Of the 10 teams that have allowed more points than Kansas City, only one of them — the 4-1 Saints — have a winning record.
It’s difficult to decide between the teams’ fantastic franchise quarterbacks.
Rams QB Jared Goff has completed 72.3 percent of his passes for an NFL-high 1,727 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has a 119.7 passer rating, second in the NFL.
Kansas City’s second-year phenom Patrick Mahomes, who started only one game in his rookie year, has completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 1,513 yards, 14 TDs and two INTs. His passer rating is 112.7, which is fifth in the NFL.
Both have great skill position weapons. Rams running back Todd Gurley is second in the NFL in rushing with 415 yards and has scored seven rushing TDs. The Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt is fourth in rushing with 376 yards and he has four rushing TDs.
Goff, who’s averaging 345 passing yards per game, has praised his offensive line, which is the only group in the NFL last season to start the same five players for at least 15 games.
“The offensive line is playing tremendously,” Goff said.
“The O-line is fantastic,” said Gurley, who leads the NFL with nine TDs. “Whether we run or pass the ball, or whether I’m in there or not, everybody’s in there doing their job.”
The best contrast between the two teams is in their respective head coaches. The Chiefs are led by 60-year-old Andy Reid, a classic old-school coach but with creative new-school offensive ideas.
The Rams are coached by neophyte Sean McVay, who at age 32 is younger than a number of NFL players.
On Sunday, the Chiefs face a stiffer test, a nighttime road night game against the 3-2 Patriots, than the 5-0 Rams, who visit a 2-3 Broncos team that’s coming off a listless lopsided road loss to the Jets.
The Chiefs’ challenge on Sunday is taking on a Patriots team that’s had 10 days off after playing on a Thursday night last week. But Reid has won his past two head-to-head matchups with venerable Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Based on how well they’ve been playing and how poorly the Broncos did last week, they’re favored to win Sunday in Denver against a defense that allowed 512 yards to the Jets offense last week. The Rams average 468 yards per game. But since 2011, the Broncos are 12-2 at home against NFC teams.