“I knew we were going to click back into it,” Mahomes said. “I’ve been saying that for weeks. We were going to find it.”
That doesn’t mean the Chiefs didn’t go through some desperate times. Opponents were successful in mostly eliminating the big plays, and the Chiefs were struggling to maintain long, patient drives.
“It’s hard, especially for me because I’m used to going 80 [yards] every play,” Hill said. “Coach [Andy] Reid has got to keep me calm on the sideline. ... I’m used to going down the field, and now guys got me running 12-yard ins. That’s not something I’m used to.
“We’re all adjusting our games.”
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was patient and oh-so-productive Sunday night in Las Vegas. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and tailback Darrel Williams helped out. The Chiefs ran their winning streak to three games and moved into first place in the AFC West by overwhelming the Raiders, 41-14.
Mahomes was back to being the star of all NFL stars. He threw for 406 yards and five touchdowns. He had no interceptions while completing 35 of 50 passes.
“It’s a good one to get against a talented football team,” Coach Andy Reid said. “We’ve got so much room to improve still. But we have a little bit of season left to do that. So we’re going to keep chopping away at this thing and making ourselves the best we can be as it goes on.”
The Chiefs are back
We might have just wasted a lot of air and spilled a lot of needless digital ink worrying about an offense captained by not just a superstar but one of the best football players on the face of the planet.
After the struggles of the last month, the Chiefs came out and dropped an absolute hammer on the division-rival Raiders. Patrick Mahomes put up a vintage performance with over 400 yards and five touchdowns. It was clear he was more willing to take what was there and his guys made plays for him in 50/50 situations for the first time in months.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson saved the day for all players and personnel on the field at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday night during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs’ offense was near midfield and were hoping to get a touchdown when Jefferson picked up what appeared to be a scissor off the field and gave it to an official. One of the Chiefs’ offensive linemen wasn’t sure what was happening and wanted a flag for encroachment.
Jefferson is in the middle of his first season with the Raiders. The six-year veteran has played in eight games for the Raiders this season and has 26 tackles and two sacks. He can add a scissor recovery to his stat sheet this year.
Defense dominated by Chiefs’ stars: The Chiefs’ offense has sputtered in 2021 — until Sunday night, of course. It a vintage Kansas City offensive show. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for five touchdowns and for 406 yards. Tight End Travis Kelce had eight catches for 119 yards and wide receiver Tyreek Hill had two touchdown catches. The Chiefs have scored 76 points in two games at Allegiant Stadium.
Visiting fans are noticeable: A trend is happening at Allegiant Stadium. Fans of the opposing team are filling the joint in droves. This was never was remotely an issue while the Raiders were in Oakland. You’d see a small smattering of jerseys of players from the opposing team. Now, it’s becoming a weekly thing that a decent portion of the fans at Allegiant Stadium are cheering for the other squad. That’s part of the deal in Las Vegas. It’s a destination trip for opposing fans. And it also can make it difficult for the Raiders when they are on offense because the other team’s fans can get loud. Hence, the two false start penalties by the Raiders in the first quarter.
Chiefs, Mahomes return to form (kinda sorta). Seemingly, nothing has worked this season as it once did for the Chiefs’ previously high-flying, roughshod-running offense. That was not the case on Sunday night, perhaps best epitomized when Patrick Mahomes scrambled and chucked up a 38-yard jump ball to running back Darrel Williams that Williams came down with for six. It came to be just three plays after Tommy Townsend’s 16-yard fake-punt pass kept the drive going. What the Chiefs had been doing for three seasons, just hasn’t been working this year. It did Sunday night, though. While Williams’ grab might’ve been the most emblematic play of the Chiefs’ dalliance with getting right, the usual standouts were back at it for the Chiefs, as Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce each had stellar outings. Mahomes’ five touchdown tosses matched a season-high and his 406 yards were a season-high, as well. He looked sensational, as we’ve come to expect, and removed from weeks of struggle. He didn’t have an interception for the second week in a row — a first so far this season. And most importantly, the highlight-reel plays equated to a victory. After 10 weeks, the Chiefs are atop the AFC West, just like everyone prognosticated. Nobody predicted it would go like it has, but they’re here nonetheless and the Chiefs’ and Mahomes’ downfalls have not arrived. Quite to the contrary. Will Sunday night be a harbinger of what’s to come or was it merely a flashback to what once was? We shall see, of course, but upon this evening, it looks as though the Chiefs, all alone in first place, have begun to find their way and are remedying their ills.
Around the NFL
“I didn’t even know you could tie in the NFL,” Harris said. “In my mind, I was sitting on the bench saying, ‘I’ve got another quarter to go.’ But someone came to me and said, ‘That’s it.’ I’ve never had a tie in my life before.”
With the tie, the Lions avoided an 0-17 season, but they’re still on a 13-game winless streak that dates back to last season.
“I’m in this twilight zone,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “I don’t know what this is, really, and I’m sure I’ve been in a tie before as a player, but for some reason I can’t remember that, if it was.”
It was the second time in three weeks that they’ve lost to a team they probably should have beaten, that was playing its backup quarterback in the game. After the loss, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians was palpably upset with his team’s performance and unloaded on the job done by both the players and his own coaching staff.
“It has nothing to do with ability,” Arians said, per ESPN.com. “It’s about execution and being a smart football team. We’re a very dumb football team. And that’s a reflection on the coaches.”
It took all of one play for Cam Newton to make a booming announcement to the football world: “I’m back!”
The former MVP repeated that roar after rushing for a 2-yard touchdown on his first snap of the 2021 season. His second snap resulted in a passing touchdown as the Panthers cruised to a 34-10 win Sunday.
Carolina now sits at 5-5 in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
Newton entered the game during the Panthers’ opening possession, which began deep in Cardinals territory following a fumble. On second-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Newton took a direct snap and delivered a stiff arm to Zaven Collins before breaking outside and barreling over Isaiah Simmons for the first-quarter score.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
For weeks — months, even — head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the offense have been preaching what they needed to do. Reid explained that the Chiefs would have to adjust to shell coverage, that he would have to put the offense in a better position. He needed to balance the offense by running the football more.
Mahomes said he wanted to trust his pocket better and not bail out too soon. He needed to improve his footwork and timing. He had to be more confident in taking what was there in the intermediate areas of the field. That would open up passes downfield.
On Sunday night against the Raiders, the Chiefs did what they have been talking about.