Many of the Kansas City Chiefs might just as well have worn Grinch costumes on Monday — because they sure stole all the Christmas spirit during their 20-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. It was a miserable game where the opponent didn’t complete a pass after the first quarter — or score an offensive touchdown — but still managed to lead throughout the game.
You already know the Chiefs’ problems by now. They all showed up — including penalties, turnovers, bad wide receiver play, offensive line mistakes and a partridge in a pear tree.
After this debacle, it’s difficult to single anyone out. So let’s just stick to the big picture — and get back to enjoying time with family.
The Chiefs’ defense: This unit was pretty spectacular. Chris Jones and Charles Omenihu had sacks and L’Jarius Sneed completely shut down Davante Adams. The Raiders managed fewer than 100 yards passing. The Kansas City offense put the defense in bad positions throughout the game. They responded over and over again — until the end of the fourth quarter, when Zamir White broke a long run to slam the door on on Kansas City.
The Chiefs’ offense: The offensive line was terrible, Mahomes was uncomfortable and the results were ugly. On two different drives, the offense gave up the ball on downs in Raiders territory. It also had an interception and a fumble returned for touchdowns within seconds of each other. The trick play to Pacheco was fun — but then, Pacheco was concussed. The entire unit failed both individually and together. It couldn’t block the Las Vegas defensive line — and its receivers couldn’t get open against the Raiders’ secondary. The only thing that really worked was Mahomes running the ball — and he mostly did that because there wasn’t anyone to whom he could throw.
The Chiefs’ special teams: Harrison Butker missed a field goal to close out the first half. Then — with the offense struggling — Tommy Townsend absolutely shanked a punt, giving Las Vegas the ball in Kansas City territory. The lone highlight was Townsend’s fake punt: a pass to Justin Watson for a first down.
The Chiefs’ offensive coaching staff: It’s far too late in this season to have not yet figured out what players do best. It’s an absolute waste of Mahomes’ talent — during the prime of his career — for him to play in an offense that is this much of a mess. The failure of the entire offense ultimately rests on the coaching staff being unable to get the right guys on the field in the right positions — with game plans that have a chance.