The Kansas City Chiefs registered a statement victory on Sunday, as they blew out the Las Vegas Raiders 48-9. This game was dominated by the Chiefs from the very beginning, as Josh Jacobs fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and it was returned by cornerback Mike Hughes for six. It would be the first of three first-half turnovers committed by the Raiders, and the first of five first-half touchdowns scored by the Chiefs, as they secured a 35-3 lead by the halftime break.
The 35 first-half points are the most points scored in any half by the Chiefs since they scored 28 against the Houston Texans in the famous 2019 AFC Divisional game. Sunday was slight work for Patrick Mahomes and the offense, as they got the kind of explosive outing they were searching for. The Chiefs’ 48 points scored are the second-most registered in a regular-season game by a Mahomes-led team. The most came against the Los Angeles Rams on that wild Monday night game in 2018, when the Chiefs fell 54-51.
The 9-4 Chiefs still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC while the 6-7 Raiders’ playoff hopes are hanging on by a thread. So, what happened in Kansas City on Sunday? Let’s take a look.
Why the Chiefs won
The Chiefs’ six-game win streak has interestingly enough been built on the success of the defense instead of Mahomes and his weapons. Over the past six games the Chiefs are allowing an average of 10.8 points per game. While the defense did its part on Sunday and scored the first touchdown of the game, Kansas City’s offense got rolling this week.
The Chiefs scored 35 points in the first half. Coming into this matchup, they had only scored 35 or more points in a full game three times this year. In the first two quarters, Mahomes completed 12 of 15 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns while Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 27 yards and two scores. The Chiefs racked up 221 yards of total offense in the first half and averaged 7.1 yards per play. The quick start was a reason the Chiefs were victorious on Sunday, but how the offense dominated was the real reason Kansas City won.
How the Chiefs fare on offense through these final regular-season games is something everyone is paying attention to. Kansas City again has a chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but the offense needs to be more explosive. We saw this unit do just that on Sunday.
Why the Raiders lost
Slow offensive starts have been the Raiders’ forte. It’s been a theme for this team ever since the season opener vs. the Baltimore Ravens, when the Raiders had to score 17 points in the fourth quarter to push the game to overtime. In last week’s 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team, the Raiders’ lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter. Jacobs even said the offense comes into games “stiff and dull.”
“It’s definitely very frustrating and really annoying really just starting slow every week. I feel like it’s taking too long to be who we are,” Jacobs said about the slow starts, via USA Today.
The Raiders had their worst slow start of the season against the Chiefs. Not only did Jacobs fumble and allow a touchdown on the first play of the game, but Vegas turned the ball over…