Kansas City was horrendous offensively, wasting a phenomenal defensive performance.
The Chiefs offense will be ashamed of its holiday showing. But what ought to sting most is wasting an outstanding defensive performance.
In a game that finished with a 20-14 score, the defense allowed just six points, limiting rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell to 62 passing yards and 205 net yards altogether. O’Connell was almost never comfortable; the defensive line won play after play.
The Raiders aren’t a good team, but wide receiver Davante Adams is still one of the NFL’s best, and he was a non-factor thanks to the play of cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. If you have lost hope in this year’s Chiefs (and for the first time this year, I can’t say I blame you), Sneed needs to be here next year. He could very quietly be the league’s best cornerback, and general manager Brett Veach has to find a way to keep him in a Chiefs uniform.
This was a burn-the-tape day for the Chiefs’ offense.
Unfortunately for Kansas City, you have to say the complete opposite about the offensive line.
From the opening whistle onward, Patrick Mahomes’ “protection” had him running for his life — and on the occasions in which there was time to throw, it seemed like nobody was open. Mahomes would have to either scramble or take a coverage sack.
The back-to-back sequence that saw the Chiefs fumble on a trick play (in their own territory) and then throw a pick-six made for an insurmountable deficit — and from that point forward, Kansas City simply wasn’t in the game.
In his return to the lineup, running back Isiah Pacheco could never really get anything going. The only production seemed to come from short passes and screens to wide receiver Rashee Rice. Tight end Travis Kelce had a few moments and the late-game touchdown to Justin Watson was nice, sure — but no one play was going to break the Chiefs from their janky, sluggish all-around day.
It’s currently difficult to fathom this team being able to beat any of the top teams of the AFC.
This section does not have to be long.
The Chiefs have two games to right the ship; for a Super Bowl-or-bust franchise, Monday needs to be 2023’s low point.