While the Chiefs did get handed their first loss of the season, Kansas City was still wildly impressive at various points in this game. Mahomes was dazzling with his arm in the first half, while Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were torching the Las Vegas secondary. The Chiefs simply couldn’t keep that scoring output up as the second half rolled on and their defense struggled mightily to get off the field, allowing the Raiders to have a near 10-minute time of possession advantage. The 16-0 dream is over, but this is still a dangerous football team.
Steve Spagnuolo’s defense slips up
While Mahomes catalyzed the Chiefs’ 13-game (counting playoffs) win streak, Spagnuolo’s defense settling in as a reliable unit backed the dominant QB. That did not occur Sunday, with the Raiders tagging a healthy Chiefs defense for 490 yards — the most they have yielded since Tom Brady lit up previous defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s group in October 2018. The Chiefs (4-1) gave up four 40-plus-yard pass plays to one of the NFL’s most conservative QBs and could not stop Josh Jacobs to give Mahomes a game-tying opportunity. With only one AFC playoff bye available, this loss raises the stakes for the Chiefs’ Week 6 Buffalo trip.
CHIEFS GRADE: C-minus | NEXT: at Bills (Mon.)
Kansas City Chiefs
Most teams in the NFL hate playing on Thursday and thanks to the revamped schedule, the Chiefs no longer have to do that this year. The downside of a Thursday game is that you only get three full days of rest before playing. With their Week 6 game against the Bills now on Monday, the Chiefs will be getting more than DOUBLE the amount of rest as they get seven full days between their Week 5 game and their Week 6 game.
Well, well, well. KC leads the division, but the Raiders stunned them in Arrowhead and this division is suddenly a whole lot more interesting.
Kansas City Chiefs, 4-1
Las Vegas Raiders, 3-2
Los Angeles Chargers, 1-3
Denver Broncos, 1-3
The Raiders are legitimate AFC contenders
Las Vegas is 3-2, and two of its three wins are against Kansas City and New Orleans, which sounds like a lot of people’s preseason Super Bowl prediction pairing. The Raiders are one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West with a head-to-head victory in their pocket for potential tiebreaker purposes. They have a stud running back who drives their offense, and that offense can put up points. They are averaging 30.2 points over their first five games.
The verdict: OVERREACTION. Too soon! The Raiders also give up a ton of points, first of all, averaging 30.4 points allowed over their first five games. I don’t like to call a team a contender when it has been outscored by its opponents, and the Raiders have. By one point, sure, but they have.
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9) Alex Smith is the best
My love and appreciation for Smith is well-documented. I think he was an historically underrated quarterback in San Francisco and Kansas City. And he’s an all-time great guy, leader, teammate and mentor.
After a catastrophic leg injury in 2018 — followed by an extraordinary series of infections and follow-up surgeries that put his leg (and life) in jeopardy — it was conventional wisdom to believe his career was over. Smith rehabbed like no other, made it to the active roster and, after an injury to Washington starter Kyle Allen, returned to the field of play on Sunday, with his wife and kids cheering him on from the stands. I don’t care about the stats. This was about so much more than simple numbers. This was a triumph in human spirit. It was absolutely beautiful.
“Raheem is a strong leader and a talented coach that has adapted to a variety of roles since joining the Falcons in 2015,” said Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay in a statement. “He has experience as a head coach and has worked on both sides of the ball. We felt that combined with his connection to the players and coaching staff, which will be an important factor as we move forward in 2020, he was the right person to give this responsibility to.”
Loser: An NFL Without Dak Prescott
There was a moment when Dak Prescott’s foot was facing the wrong way and CBS commentator Tony Romo optimistically opined that he hoped it was just a cramp. Romo has consistently proved to be a very intelligent commentator, and presumably knows which way the human foot is supposed to face. But when you’re watching football, and the body of a brilliant player breaks in front of your eyes, there’s nothing you can do besides pretend that things aren’t as bad as you know they are.
Prescott did not have a cramp. He suffered a compound ankle fracture. If you don’t follow sports, you may be lucky enough to go through life without knowing the difference between a regular fracture and a compound fracture. If you follow sports, you know. Compound fractures are the ones where the bone breaks aggressively enough that it pokes through the skin. It’s what happened to Alex Smith in 2018, which kept him out of football for nearly two whole calendar years. Wikipedia says they’re most likely to happen when someone is crushed, falls from a great height, or gets into a traffic accident. Also, football. Compound fractures are rare enough that we can’t say for certain how good Prescott will be when he returns, but common enough to know we will be lucky if Prescott is ready to play football next season.
The Washington Football Team won’t make another change at quarterback this week. That is, as long as Kyle Allen is healthy.
“He’s our starter,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said.
Rivera had said this after Sunday’s 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams and reiterated it Monday, first in a meeting with Allen and then on a Zoom session with reporters. Washington plays at the New York Giants on Sunday.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Travis Kelce: He’s the best tight end in the league because of his consistency. When this offense can’t get anything going, Mahomes always seems to find No. 87 to move the chains. Kelce had 8 catches, 108 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders and made some key blocks on other scoring plays.