I am not sure why they did it.
Reminiscent of last year’s now-infamous victory lap, the Las Vegas Raiders rolled into Arrowhead Stadium for Week 14 and decided it would be a good idea to jump up and down on the Kansas City Chiefs’ midfield logo before the game.
NFL Network’s James Palmer caught it all on his cell camera.
Dig this! The #raiders met as a team after their pregame warmup at about the 25 yard line. Then proceeded to relocate their team huddle to midfield on top of the #chiefs logo. The stadium erupted in boos as the Raiders fired each other up. LFG!!! pic.twitter.com/6MQOVtQ5G0— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) December 12, 2021
As the game would dictate, this was quite legitimately the high point of the day for Las Vegas. At the time of this writing (shortly after the clock hit triple-zeroes), it’s unclear if the Chiefs players knew about the pregame incident.
Regardless, they sure played like they did.
The Logo Game— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) December 12, 2021
The first play set the tone for the entire game, with defensive tackle Jarran Reed forcing a Josh Jacobs fumble — and cornerback Mike Hughes picking up the ball for a 23-yard score. It felt like the moment had an added sense of significance given the fact that Hughes was in the game for L’Jarius Sneed, absent from the playing field due to a family tragedy. Hughes forced two fumbles and recovered the fumble to seal the game.
Sneed has arguably been the Chiefs’ best tackler this season, but they did not skip a beat with him out of the lineup. The front was relentless Sunday. Defensive linemen Frank Clark and Chris Jones combined for nine pressures of Derek Carr in the first half — and Clark hit Carr four times in the game. On several plays, Melvin Ingram used his opposing offensive lineman as a weapon, pushing him into Carr.
The Chiefs totaled four sacks and 11 quarterback hits. Safety Daniel Sorensen made another key play in the game, causing a pass to pop up into the hands of Tyrann Mathieu.
A familiar feeling
For the second straight game against the Raiders, the Chiefs offense looked a lot more like the Chiefs offense we have grown accustomed to seeing in previous years. The Chiefs appeared to commit to utilizing running backs a bit more past their opening script.
The offensive balance led to more opportunities downfield, and we saw Patrick Mahomes connect on a few downfield attempts, including one in the first half to Mecole Hardman for 44 and one in the second half to Tyreek Hill for 38.
The scorers for the Chiefs were Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore who combined for four touchdowns — and after a never-ending spot as weekly token sleeper, wide receiver Josh Gordon scored his first touchdown in more than 800 days. Mahomes has his best days when he spreads the ball around, and he connected with eight different pass-catchers on Sunday.
The Chiefs led 35-3 at the half, and in the second half, the offense did enough to ensure nothing miraculous happened.
My initial takeaway from Sunday is threefold: First, the result left a rather familiar feeling — and that’s because it should. The Chiefs played just this type of dominant game against the same team three games ago — and then in the weeks that followed, the offense regressed. I think the Chiefs offense stringing two (or more) of these performances together is necessary to boost confidence ahead of the postseason. Fortunately for Kansas City, it doesn’t have to wait long to accomplish that — it’s the Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers just four days after this game.
Second — we can’t lose sight of what the Chiefs have been able to accomplish, winning in all kinds of different ways. Flirting with missing the postseason early, the Chiefs have won six games in a row and two AFC West games in a row. They can put the division out of reach with a win on Thursday before rooting for the Indianapolis Colts against the New England Patriots on Saturday night.
This once 3-4 team could be six days away from second place in the AFC and seven days away from first, should the Tennessee Titans lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers next week. It hasn't all been pretty, but the lone conference bye week is suddenly within reach.
Oh... and Third — it would probably have been a good idea for the Raiders to stay off the logo.