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11 winners and NO losers in the Chiefs’ blowout of the Raiders

Let’s identify the players who stood out during Sunday’s blowout win over Las Vegas.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that felt comfortably in hand from Sunday afternoon’s first snap against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Kansas City Chiefs got contributions from across the offense and defense; even some of those we’ve all but written off got on the board against a hapless division rival in a 48-9 blowout.

The home team played inspired football on behalf of cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who missed the game after tragically losing a brother on Friday. They were also motivated by a silly display of pre-game arrogance when the visitors met on the Chiefs’ midfield logo.

While the defense continued to steal the show — this time, forcing five turnovers — the offense was deadly efficient as well, coming up with big plays throughout the game.

Here are a few who stood out during a historic beatdown at Arrowhead Stadium.

Winners

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Hughes: I love it when the players we criticize immediately have breakout performances. After struggling earlier in the year — and being outplayed by Deandre Baker a week ago — few saw this performance coming. Hughes led the team in tackles with nine, forced two fumbles, recovered another — and returned it for a touchdown. It was an incredible day for Hughes, looking like Charles Tillman brutalizing the Raiders with Peanut Punches.

Frank Clark, Chris Jones and Melvin Ingram: Everyone got involved in the pass rush on Sunday — including Alex Okafor and Tershawn Wharton. But it was the newly-formed “big 3” of Clark, Jones and Ingram that absolutely dominated the Raiders’ offensive line. Each player was credited with half a sack — but that doesn’t fully capture the destruction they caused. Clark was flying around again, hitting Derek Carr four times. Ingram continued to be a difference-maker, driving offensive linemen into the quarterback. And Jones once again looked like the league’s second-best interior pass rusher, causing problems all afternoon. In all, the Chiefs hit Carr eleven times and sacked him four times. With #SackNation getting this kind of pressure, defensive dominance is sustainable.

Tyrann Mathieu: The Landlord was collecting the rent on Sunday, scooping up a fumble recovery and a tip-drill-interception. Whether blitzing, dropping into coverage or coming up to make a big hit, Mathieu was everywhere. But it was his nose for the football that helped ensure this game was a complete and total blowout.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore: What a day for the Kansas City running backs! Edwards-Helaire scored twice and Williams once on a beautifully-executed swing pass — and Gore capped off the game with a 51-yard touchdown run. It was the longest by a Kansas City back in over two years. The running-back-by-committee was quite effective, averaging 4.4 yards per carry — and each back registered a reception or two as well — so we couldn’t very well single out just one of these guys. Add a hat-tip to the offensive line; when every back on the roster is productive, those guys up front are clearly getting it done.

Patrick Mahomes: The big plays were finally back. Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Darrel Williams and Byron Pringle all caught Mahomes passes over 25 yards. The accuracy and ball placement looked much improved — contributing to a cleaner, more drop-free day for Kansas City receivers. Mahomes also looked more comfortable and confident moving around the pocket to buy time or avoid defenders, always keeping his eyes downfield. If his trust and confidence are really back, Mahomes is going to set the NFL on fire during the upcoming postseason run.

Josh Gordon: We’ve been wondering when it would happen. Gordon got a designed target in the red zone for an easy score. He only logged one other catch for a minimal gain — but still, it felt like Gordon had finally arrived in Kansas City. There’s some hope that he’ll get more opportunities down the stretch.

Andy Reid: This was the complete game from Reid’s Chiefs that we’ve been waiting all season to see. The team came in prepared, executed nearly flawlessly and didn’t let up on an inferior opponent. All phases of the game contributed. They also got contributions from up-and-down the roster; stars and role players all played a part in a complete team win. Both on and off the field, it’s been a tough year for Reid — but for one day at least, it’s great to see everything go his way.

Losers

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody: Sunday’s game was a complete team victory, so this team is full of winners. When a team wins by 39 points over a division rival, dominates on defense from start to finish, forces multiple turnovers and makes big plays on offense, how can we call out any losers?

But hey... if you can think of some, please let us know.