The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday at Arrowhead Stadium — and once again, the offense was to blame. Kansas City managed just 14 points against a Raiders defense that had allowed 20 points per game this season.
“We were just off a tick,” said head coach Andy Reid in the post-game press conference. “Again, that’s my responsibility, to give them the right stuff to work with in the run game and the pass game. That’s what’s got to take place.”
Kansas City did manage two touchdowns — one in the second quarter and one that came too late in the fourth — but turnovers on back-to-back drives in the second quarter allowed Las Vegas to build a 17-7 lead. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and running back Isiah Pacheco mismanaged a handoff that led to a scoop-and-score, followed by a bad decision by Mahomes that went for a pick-six for cornerback Jack Jones.
“He made a good play, man,” said Mahomes. “He was off coverage, read it, probably by the alignment and just made a good play. Just can’t make that throw. I tried to be on time with it, but he obviously made a great play on there and got the pick-six.”
But even besides those two key plays, the offense never really could get into a rhythm. As the quarterback looked downfield, he rarely saw windows into which he could throw; the Raiders blanketed his pass-catchers.
“They had a good game plan,” acknowledged Mahomes. “They did a good job of flipping coverages. They did a good job when they were in man, playing pretty good coverage. When they were in zone, they were in the right spots. And then the defensive line got home whenever they needed to. They had a good game plan. They played hard. They played a good football game — and all credit to them. They played better than us today, and they were the team that deserved to win.”
Reid and Mahomes regretted the outing, especially given their defense made things difficult for the Raiders all day. Las Vegas quarterback Aidan O’Connell finished with only 62 yards — and at the game’s end, he somehow stood on the winning side.
“I thought the defense did a nice job — giving up, what, six points?” noted Reid. “And then the quick turnaround on things, field position — all those things they had to bear down on — I thought they did a good job with it.”
But the offense did not do a good job, and now, they have two games left to find some kind of momentum heading into the postseason.
“I think more than anything, it’s just consistency,” said Mahomes. “You see drives where we drive it right down the field, score — and we’re doing everything the right way. And then you see [a] drive where we kind of hurt ourselves. You see drives [where] we stall out quick. We have to continue to prove it because defenses — they’re not changing.
“It’s a lot of the same coverages by different variations, different teams, and they’re just doing good at flipping the coverages, playing man when they need to, playing zone when they need to — and then counting on us to make mistakes. And we have.”
Then Mahomes said the thing that he and his offensive teammates have been saying for 15 games and counting.
“If we clean it up, we’ll be able to score points,” said Mahomes. “It’s just, we’ve got to clean it up. We [have] two games left. You have to do it. If we don’t, we’ll be going home. I think if we clean it up, we can beat anybody. I truly believe that. But we’ve got to prove that we can do it.”