Rams outlast Chiefs in highest-scoring ‘Monday Night Football’ game ever

That pretty much sums up the much-hyped Monday night matchup that, well, lived up to the hype as the Los Angeles Rams outscored the Kansas City Chiefs 54-51 in undoubtedly the most wildly entertaining NFL offensive explosion ever staged at the historic Los Angeles Coliseum.

This, folks, is what the NFL wants you to see.

Fourteen touchdowns. A combined 1,001 yards. More than 100 points, with the final tally representing the most in “Monday Night Football” history and third-highest total in any game. Eight lead changes. Two ties. Suspense. Signature moments galore. And two spectacular 400-yard passers – Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff – left standing at the end.

Mahomes threw for six touchdowns and 478 yards … and it still wasn’t enough. Not with three interceptions, including a pick-six, and two lost fumbles.

Then again, despite the turnovers, he still had a chance to win.

Goff, though, fired a 40-yard TD strike to Gerald Everett with 1:49 remaining – his fourth scoring pass – to provide the winning points.

And even that wasn’t a sure thing until the end.

Mahomes had two final chances to rally the Chiefs in the final two minutes, but each drive ended with interceptions on deep throws downfield. Marcus Peters intercepted Mahomes with 1:28 left, then Lamarcus Joyner sealed the outcome with a pick with 13 seconds remaining.

Here’s to hoping that you bet the “over.”

Shoot, the over/under projection of 64 points was eclipsed way back in the third quarter.

And when one of those high-flying offenses didn’t convert on third down, it just seemed plain weird.

So, too, was the fact that a defensive player, Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam, scored two touchdowns – one on an 11-yard fumble-return and the other on a 25-yard interception runback – in a game dominated by offense.

Then again, weird was a good thing in many ways in the first Monday night game in L.A. since 1979.

Three other things we learned or confirmed:

1. Mahomes is unflappable

Whenever it seemed like the Chiefs’ young gunslinger was poised to crack, he came back for more. Both times when Mahomes lost fumbles on strip-sacks, then again after throwing a pick-six, he responded by leading Kansas City on touchdown drives. And that was just one reflection of his resilience as the Chiefs trailed 13-0 early, then opened the fourth quarter in a 40-30 hole.

2. The “all-star” officiating crew clearly wanted a shootout

The ridiculous penalties against Kansas City defensive backs early in the game – especially a shoulder-to-shoulder unnecessary roughness call on an incompletion before the game’s first touchdown – set the tone. And the flags weren’t exactly flying both ways. By the end of the first quarter, the Chiefs were stung for 82 yards.

Not that some of the penalties weren’t deserved. But nor was the blatant miss of an incompletion to Tyler Higbee early in the third quarter – the ball bounced off the turf and into the hands of the Rams tight end as he rolled over during a fall – that boosted a go-ahead TD drive.

3. You can only hope to contain Aaron Donald

The Rams’ monster defensive tackle left his fingerprints all over the game – and Mahomes – while demonstrating how tough it will be for Khalil Mack to prevent him for repeating as the NFL’s defensive player of the year. Yes, there was some defense sprinkled within the offensive smorgasbord. After drawing a couple of holding penalties, No. 99 produced his first strip-sack of the game late in the second quarter to produce instant points. Ebukam picked up the loose football for an 11-yard walk-in TD return. Early in the third quarter, Donald smashed into Mahomes for a 16-yard sack-and-swat, recovered by linemate John Franklin-Myers to jump-start another TD drive.

The Match: Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson will provide high stakes, big bets

Fifteen miles from the Las Vegas Strip, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, rivals for more than two decades, will go head-to-head Friday in a high-stakes duel in the desert.

Billed as The Match, the two best players of their generation face off on an 18-hole gem with a huge pot of cash up for grabs. Woods has gotten the better of Mickelson during their storied careers but that will mean little in this one-day showdown with millions of dollars on the line.

The match begins at 3 p.m. ET.

Who’s playing: Tiger Woods (14 major championship titles, 80 PGA Tour victories) vs. Phil Mickelson (5 majors, 43 PGA Tour victories). Each won a tournament this year — Woods, 42, took home the championship hardware at The Tour Championship; Mickelson, 48, won the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. Those were the first wins since 2013 for both players.

Where are they playing: Shadow Creek Golf Course, a man-made marvel in the Mojave Desert that is as challenging as it is beautiful. The course, a par-72 that can tip out at 7,560 yards, features many risk-reward holes, a stout collection of par-3s and long par-4s with doglegs.

What’s the purse: A winner-take-all $9 million. It’s not the players’ money. Instead, sponsors put up the cash.

What’s the format: Match play. Each hole is basically a tournament, as a player earns a point if he beats his opponent on the hole. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of play, which could be on the 10th hole if a player wins the first nine holes.

What might we see as side bets: Woods and Mickelson will raise the stakes as they will be making plenty of wagers throughout the match, with the winnings going to charity. Among the expected bets will be long drive and closest-to-the-pin contests. The players also will likely propose money challenges on putts and up-and-downs. The bets will likely be in the range of $10,000 to $50,000 per wager.

What other highlights will be offered: Both Woods and Mickelson will be mic’d during the match. With no commercial breaks, there will be plenty of airtime to fill, and these two will certainly break out the needle. Their caddies Joe LaCava (Tiger) and Tim Mickelson (younger brother of Phil) will be mic’d.

What’s special about the production: Drone coverage will create eye-popping aerial views of each shot, as well as highlight the golf course. The one-hour pregame show will feature Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson and Pat Perez. Ernie Johnson of TNT’s NBA coverage fame, will serve as the play-by-play announcer alongside Peter Jacobsen and Darren Clarke. Natalie Gulbis and Shane Bacon will be the reporters on the ground.

How to watch: The telecast will be available on pay per view for $19.99 and can be accessed through major cable providers including DirecTV, AT&T, U-Verse, Comcast and Verizon. Those watching in 4K need to pay $10 more. Bleacher Report’s social media platforms will provide some pre-match viewing for free.