LOS ANGELES — Jared Goff threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Everett for the go-ahead score with 1:49 to play, and the Los Angeles Rams outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs for a 54-51 victory on Monday night in a high-octane NFL offensive showdown that somehow surpassed the hype.
Patrick Mahomes threw six touchdown passes in his latest jaw-dropping performance for the Chiefs (9-2), but he also threw two interceptions in the final 1:18 as the Rams (10-1) claimed the highest-scoring Monday night game ever played and the first NFL game with two 50-point performances.
Goff passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns, while Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner came up with late interceptions as the Rams hung on.
The highest-scoring game in the league this season was an offensive fantasia featuring 1,001 combined yards and ingenious scheming from mastermind coaches Andy Reid and Sean McVay — along with three defensive touchdowns and 21 combined penalties.
"It was a whirlwind," McVay said. "I feel like I might need a couple of beverages to relax tonight, but it was great. This is what you love so much about the game."
The Coliseum's first Monday night game since 1985 was worth the wait — and if this fascinating spectacle turns out to be a Super Bowl preview, Atlanta should prepare for an All-Madden-level show from two of the most exciting teams in the league.
"It was one of the most competitive games I've been a part of," McVay said. "It was just a competitive game with a lot of high-caliber football in all three phases."
Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam returned a fumble and an interception for the first two TDs of his NFL career, while Kansas City's Allen Bailey returned Goff's fumble for a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The second half was an extended thriller featuring 59 combined points, but the Rams made slightly more big plays down the stretch.
After Goff led a 75-yard scoring drive in 89 seconds for the go-ahead TD to Everett, former Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters intercepted Mahomes' underthrown ball near midfield with 1:18 to play.
The Rams only managed to get 14 seconds off the clock on their next three plays, and the Coliseum roiled in anticipation of a big finish by Mahomes. But the Chiefs were pushed back to their 13 with 50 seconds left thanks to a booming punt by Johnny Hekker, and Joyner intercepted Mahomes' final desperate heave with 13 seconds left.
This game has loomed in capital letters on the NFL's regular season schedule ever since these teams confirmed their status as offensive powerhouses in September. Along with New Orleans and New England, the Rams and Chiefs are the league's biggest favorites for long postseason runs.
But before January, these offensive powerhouses put on a show for a prime-time audience.