ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs rested all of their regulars and still finished the preseason unbeaten.
Chase Daniel threw a touchdown pass and the Chiefs beat the St. Louis Rams 24-17 on Thursday night.
‘It’s not meaningless to us,” Daniel said. “We’re looking forward to the regular season and hopefully we can start off 4-0 there, too.”
Kansas City (4-0) was perfect for the first time since 1969, the season the franchise won its lone Super Bowl title.
“We’re in America so you play to win whether it’s ping pong or a hot dog eating contest,” coach Andy Reid said. “It’s the preseason, and we understand that.”
Isaiah Pead rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (0-4). They were winless for the first time since 2002 and are 2-10 the past three preseasons.
“Some of those tough years when we were 2-14, go back and look at some of those preseason records,” defensive end Chris Long said. “They were pretty darned good. I don’t weigh everything on winning and losing.”
Tavon Austin had the most electrifying play of the game, reversing field on a 43-yard scamper after a short catch that set up St. Louis’ first touchdown.
The Rams played most of their regulars for two series, although they were down to fourth string at running back, and the Chiefs rested all of their starters.
St. Louis quarterback Nick Foles threw a costly interception, although it wasn’t his fault.
The Rams’ second home game in five days was just as poorly attended as the first with the Edward Jones Dome about one-fourth full. The team said 37,616 tickets were distributed, or about half-capacity.
At a pregame rally touting progress of a stadium task force, Mayor Francis Slay gave fans his “word” there would be a new riverfront stadium and the Rams would be playing in it.
The Rams’ Cody Davis jumped the route on a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown off Daniel in the first quarter.
The Chiefs’ Daniel Sorensen had a 26-yard return to the 8-yard line on the third play of the game after Foles’ pass was in and out of Jared Cook’s hands. That set up Spencer Ware’s 1-yard run two plays later.
Daniel played the first half, going 16 of 20 for 117 yards with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley. Foles was 2 of 3 for 49 yards.
The Rams’ Greg Zuerlein kicked a 57-yard field goal with plenty of yardage to spare late in the second.
Dave Peacock, a former Anheuser-Busch executive and leader of the stadium group, was a lot more circumspect than Slay, saying “I’ve never guaranteed anything.”
Peacock and Gov. Jay Nixon met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on Wednesday. Nixon did not attend the rally, which had a crowd of about 300, but he visited the dome before the game.
Several protesters held signs at the rally saying “No Vote, No Stadium.”
Daniel Rodriguez, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient who was a longshot trying to make the Rams as a return man and backup wide receiver, sustained a concussion on a kickoff return late in the first half. Rodriguez needed attention on the field after a hit by Sorensen.
The Rams’ Tim Barnes made his second preseason start at center, the lone position battle up for grabs on either team. Coach Jeff Fisher was non-committal after the game.
Conley, a third-round Chiefs pick, made a nice reception at the goal line on his first touchdown of the preseason. He had three receptions for 38 yards.
Chiefs: Kansas City opens at Houston Sept. 13.
Rams: St. Louis opens at home against NFC champion Seattle Sept. 13.