Holding an opportunity to claim their eighth consecutive AFC West title against the Las Las Vegas Raiders on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense couldn’t do anything right as the Raiders went into halftime with a 17-7 lead — and never lost the momentum, spoiling Kansas City’s Christmas with a 20-14 victory.
Both teams forced a three-and-out to open the game — but the Chiefs ended up at the Raiders’ 46-yard line after a short punt, a solid return from Richie James and a penalty on Las Vegas. But after a penalty (and the Raiders’ second sack in as many drives), the Chiefs were unable to take advantage of the excellent field position.
Then the Raiders engineered a methodical 15-play, 8:44 drive featuring a beautifully executed 21-yard screen pass from Aiden O’Connell to Jakobi Meyers that put Las Vegas inside the Kansas City 20. But the Chiefs held on third-and-5, forcing a 24-yard field goal that gave the Raiders a 3-0 lead as the first quarter was coming to an end.
Kansas City’s next drive managed a first down (on a defensive holding penalty) but went nowhere after that. Then the Chiefs’ defense collected another three-and-out — and on the next drive, the offense finally got things going. A 10-play, 74-yard drive featured a 24-yard screen pass to tight end Travis Kelce — and ended with a direct snap to running back Isiah Pacheco, who faked a reverse before going around left end for a 12-yard touchdown run that gave Kansas City a 7-3 lead.
Las Vegas could only manage five offensive plays before punting. On the opening play of the next drive, Kansas City tried a direct snap to Pacheco — but a handoff to Mahomes was fumbled. The Raiders’ Bilal Nichols recovered and ran it in for a touchdown. After a botched extra-point attempt, Las Vegas led 9-7 — and on the first play of the next drive, Mahomes was intercepted by Jack Jones, who returned it for another defensive score that gave Las Vegas a 17-7 lead with just under five minutes left in the half.
The next Chiefs drive stalled after five plays. On fourth-and-5 at the Kansas City 48, punter Tommy Townsend fooled the Raiders with an 11-yard pass to Justin Watson that kept it going — but with five seconds left in the half, Harrison Butker’s 36-yard field goal attempt missed, giving Las Vegas a 17-7 halftime lead.
The Chiefs’ defense got a stop to open the third quarter. The offense was then able to move the ball, but Kansas City’s drive fizzled after 13 plays that gained 48 yards — and ended with a failed fourth-and-5 conversion. The teams traded three-and-outs — ending with a poor Townsend punt that gave Las Vegas the ball at the Chiefs’ 42-yard line. The defense held the Raiders to a 35-yard field goal, giving Las Vegas a 20-7 lead as the third quarter was coming to an end.
The Chiefs ran a 14-play, 79-yard drive that ended up with a failed fourth-and-7 touchdown pass to Rice. The Kansas City defense forced another punt. This time — thanks to a 45-yard pass to Richie James — the Chiefs scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass to Justin Watson, narrowing the score to 20-14.
Finally, the Kansas City defense was exhausted. On the final Las Vegas drive, Zamir White’s 43-yard run put the team into kneeldown mode, sealing its 20-14 win.