The Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs both put their high-flying offenses on display Sunday night, and the end result came down to the final seconds with Patrick Mahomes securing the 35-31 victory.
The Las Vegas Raiders were on the losing end of a Patrick Mahomes game-winning drive as the Chiefs and Andy Reid continued their post-bye week dominance in a 35-31 win at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
A win is a win and a loss is a loss in the NFL. There are no moral victories. Yet, this loss for the Raiders will feed the hunger in the Las Vegas locker room after having the reigning Super Bowl champions on the ropes with 1:43 left in regulation.
“This is hard to swallow right now,” coach Jon Gruden said after the loss on Sunday. “We’re giving great effort. We have to get some people back out on the field playing, and hopefully, we can. We have six or seven more weeks guaranteed to us and hopefully, we can take advantage of it.”
It’s well documented, the Chiefs are the league’s most prolific offense with the duo of coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes pressing the correct buttons to give opposing defenses misfits.
However, the Raiders, who’ve put their offense into the conversation of being a top 10 unit, showed that they can hang with the Chiefs. Quarterback Derek Carr had his best game this season in Week 5 during his last matchup against the Chiefs, but early into this contest, he looked to be one-upping himself.
Carr completed his first 11 passes before going on to finish 23-for-31 with 275 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
The Raiders and Chiefs both found the end zone on each of their first two offensive drives making it a 14-14 game. Each team showed points would not be scarce, and that continued well into the fourth quarter.
The Raiders didn’t own the time of possession battle but did show the ability to move the football on offense quite easily for the better part of Sunday’s contest. Carr and the Raiders needed to continue doing so as the Chiefs handed the ball to Le’Veon Bell inside the red zone as he punched it in for six points to take the 28-24 lead with 5:54 left.
With the Raiders being left without Clelin Ferrell because of a positive COVID-19 test earlier this week, the Chiefs ran the ball towards the edge to exploit his absences more often than not.
Answering back, Carr would beat the 3rd and 5 blitz brought by the Kansas City defensive front, by completing a 20-yard strike to Nelson Agholor over the middle. The Raiders then would receive some help thanks to a Chiefs’ defensive pass interference call, which moved the Raiders to the one-yard line.
After setting up the Raiders in business, tight end Jason Witten would commit a costly false start penalty to move them back to the 5-yard line. Two plays later, Carr provides Witten with the chance of redemption and completes the five-yard touchdown to go up 31-28 with 1:43 remaining.
On would bring Mahomes. The former MVP was his true self, dicing up the Raiders on his final drive of the game. Mahomes found a combination of receivers before connecting with a wide-open Travis Kelce in the end zone to go up 35-31 with 28 seconds left.
With little time remaining, Carr threw it up for Agholor down the sideline but it was underthrown and picked off to seal the game.
The Raiders fall to a 6-4 record and seventh place in the AFC. Next week they’ll take flight to Atlanta and face the 3-7 Falcons squad.