November 10 1991: Kansas City Chiefs 27 – Los Angeles Rams 20
Marty Schottenheimer’s Chiefs travelled to Anaheim, hoping to continue their successful season with a game against the LA Rams.
The Chiefs had just beaten the LA Raiders narrowly, before going into their bye week. After a two week break they were hoping to repeat the trick against the other Los Angeles team. The game would prove to be very closely balanced.
Kansas City opened the scoring through a short pass from Steve deBerg to tight end Jonathan Hayes. Hayes had been a second round draft pick for the Chiefs back in 1986 (unusually the Chiefs drafted a tight end in both of the first two rounds!) He played for the Chiefs for 9 years before moving to Pittsburgh. Hayes didn’t score too many touchdowns – 13 across his career – the most notable were at the end of the following season: in week 17 of 1992, the Chiefs played divisional rivals the Denver Broncos. The winner would reach the playoffs, while for the losers the season would be over. Hayes scored twice, the only time in his career he did that, in a 42-20 romp for KC.
Jim Everett led the Rams downfield for an equalising score, before the Chiefs regained the lead as a long drive was capped off from a yard out by running back Barry Word. But the Rams came back yet again, with Everett leading another drive and hitting his second touchdown pass of the game. All square at 14-14 at the half.
After the break, reliable kicker Nick Lowery contributed 6 points (out of his career total 1,500 for KC!) with a pair of field goals, to give the Chiefs the lead. But yet again the Rams retaliated, and yet again it was a Jim Everett touchdown back. The extra point would give the Rams the lead… but kicker Tony Zendejas missed – his only missed point after touchdown of the year – to leave the game tied at 20-20.
The Chiefs next drive went nowhere, and the Rams got the ball back with time for one last drive. But the Chiefs defence struck, and forced a fumble, which was recovered by start line-backer Derrick Thomas for the decisive score. This was the first of four times that Hall-of-Famer Thomas scored for the Chiefs (all fumble recoveries).
A nervy win for the Chiefs, but one that helped them towards a 10-6 season, and a playoff win at Arrowhead over the Raiders.
Elsewhere in the NFL at the time:
An even closer finish in the Houston Astrodome, as an in-state game saw the visiting Dallas Cowboys lead early after capitalising on a blocked punt. An edgy game dominated by field goals was tied at 16 apiece when the hosts went ahead for the first time midway through the fourth quarter. There was still time for a Troy Aikman pass to Michael Irvin to tie things up and send the game to overtime – where the Oilers kicked a winning field goal for a dramatic 26-23 victory.
Elsewhere in the world:
Media mogul, and owner of Derby County football club, Robert Maxwell, was found dead in the Atlantic Ocean, having fallen overboard from his yacht in mysterious circumstances. Maxwell was the model for villain Elliot Carver in the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”.