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Was the Chiefs’ dominant win just the Raiders being the Raiders?

On our Out of Structure podcast, we talked about how impressive it was for Kansas City to handle its little brother.

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

On the latest episode of the Arrowhead Pride Out of Structure podcast, we discussed the Kansas City Chiefs’ latest victory: a 48-9 bludgeoning of the Las Vegas Raiders to extend their winning streak to six games and advance their overall record to 9-4.

(Listen to the podcast above or by clicking here. It is also available on Spotify.)

Sunday’s game was the second time during the Chiefs’ winning streak that the team blew out the Raiders; in Week 10, Kansas City went on the road and won 41-14. Those two games are also the only ones in this streak in which the team has scored more than 22 points.

This leads to a reasonable question: are the Chiefs any better — or are they just simply beating up on a downtrodden division rival they’ve owned for years?

Signs of legitimate improvement

The Chiefs’ pass rush has been dominant for the entire stretch of wins — and this game seemed like the most impactful performance yet. Every significant player on the defensive line made a big play — and while the Raiders’ offensive line wasn’t great, this was a product of the Chiefs’ individual players continuing to build on the signing of edge rusher Melvin Ingram.

On offense, the Chiefs flat-out executed better than they have in recent weeks. There weren’t crucial turnovers, drops, or drive-killing penalties; instead, quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw accurate passes, secondary pass-catchers made plays when called upon, and they finished drives with touchdowns rather than field goals.

Kansas City avoided shooting itself in the foot. This is what it looks like when they do that.

Signs that it was just the Raiders

The Raiders played as the Chiefs had at earlier times this season — and I want to give a shoutout to my colleague Rocky Magaña for pointing that out during Arrowhead Pride’s rapid reaction post-game show. They constantly gave the ball away — even on plays that looked to be successful completions to move the sticks. This was the Raiders having awful turnover luck — like the Chiefs had early this season.

But their defense was also just atrocious, refusing to adjust to what has slowed down the Chiefs’ offense this season.

All that is to say that this game wasn’t far removed from the close-call victories that have made up this winning streak — but the significant differences that turned it into a 48-9 rout were the Raiders’ turnovers and their lack of adjustment on defense.

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