The Kansas City Chiefs have had an awful preseason, primarily due to their inability to put points on the board. This liability cost offensive coordinator Chan Gailey his job earlier in the week, but in the first game with head coach Todd Haley calling the plays it was more of the same as the Chiefs couldn’t find the end zone. St. Louis scored an offensive touchdown late in the first half and used a third quarter interception return for a score to beat Kansas City 17-9.
NFL preseason betting aficionados who took a flier on the Rams were rewarded by their outright victory in the pickem game. Kansas City also finished 0-4 against the spread, while St. Louis finished 3-1 to the number. The combined 26 points put on the board went well UNDER the posted total of 36. The Chiefs went UNDER in all four preseason games, while the Rams split their O/U tally at 2-2.
Despite his teams continued offensive struggles, Haley tried to put a positive spin on his playcalling debut:
“I made a few mistakes out there but overall it felt good. Obviously, there were a couple of plays I would like to have back. After I got the feel a little bit, I didn’t feel too out of sync with the game and what was going on. I thought our defense gave us a chance to win. Running the football is something we can feel good about.”
The Chiefs moved the ball well, generating 406 yards of total offense but had trouble converting in the red zone. They also turned the ball over three times, the most costly a third quarter interception thrown by reserve QB Tyler Thigpen. The Rams Quincy Butler took the interception to the house for a 28 yard touchdown return. Afterwards, he suggested that his team has a new mindset:
“Every time the ball’s in the air, we all think ‘It’s my ball. We all go and get it.”
The Rams have 12 takeaways in the 2009 preseason under new head coach Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo was generally pleased with his teams effort in the victory:
“It was good to get those guys back in the swing. Now we’ve just got to get Marc (Bulger) cranked up.”
Bulger has missed most of the preseason but is expected to start in the Rams regular season opener. Spagnuolo wasnt particularly concerned about all of the yardage his team gave up:
“The silver lining is the defense held them and got them to kick a field goal. So there’s some good and bad always.”
St. Louis will open their regular season against the Seattle Seahawks. The Chiefs will also open the NFL 2009 campaign on the road, heading to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. The Rams will remain on the road for week #2, playing at Washington while the Chiefs will host the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and noted authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.