4 takeaways from Chiefs’ Week 10 win over Raiders

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A signature win in Week 10 has given the Kansas City Chiefs sole ownership of the lead in the AFC West after falling a few games behind following a slow start to their season. Now squarely in a position to control their own destiny moving forward, the team is on a hot streak ahead of their matchup against Dallas at Arrowhead next week.

Not everything went perfectly for the Chiefs in this game, but they put together arguably their best performance of their 2021 campaign against one of their most bitter rivals. The Raiders were no match for Kansas City and seemed to still be reeling following the mid-season drama that has clearly crept on the field for them.

Both sides of the ball played well at the same time for Kansas City for the first time this year. This was the defining win of their season so far, and it has the team primed for more success in their seven remaining games. Here are our five biggest takeaways from their 41-14 rout of Las Vegas in the desert on Sunday night.

Mahomes returned to form with impressive stat line

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Any time a quarterback can eclipse 400 yards and five touchdowns without throwing an interception, fans know they’ve witnessed a special performance. For a former MVP with Patrick Mahomes’ track record, games like this are often the unrealistic expectation of some who believe his talent means that he can (or should) be able to make the extraordinary look routine every week.

The 2021 season has proven that Mahomes isn’t bulletproof, but the outrageous stat line he put up this week has many talking heads thinking he is back on track to lead Kansas City to another Super Bowl in February. Expectations being what they are, enough is never going to be enough for him relative to the accomplishments of the team in his last few years as the starter, but this game was a big step towards turning the Chiefs into the nearly unbeatable monster they were predicted to be in the preseason.

Chiefs win turnover, time of possession battles

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Among the only proven strategies to beat Kansas City are ball control and minimizing turnovers against them to keep momentum in all four quarters. Las Vegas failed on both fronts this week, getting out-possessed by the Chiefs by a little over 10 minutes and turning the ball over twice while only forcing one giveaway on a Mike Hughes fumble following a punt return.

The Chiefs’ offensive attack was as balanced as it could be while attempting 51 passes in the game to keep the pressure on. It felt like they were in control of the pace of play from wire to wire in this one, with the turnovers playing a crucial part in the effort to take down Las Vegas.

Kansas City managed to intercept Derek Carr late in the third quarter, setting up a Chiefs touchdown drive to put the game out of reach. Daniel Sorenson came down with the ball on the play, potentially turning the tide on what has been an abysmal season for the veteran safety in 2021. The other takeaway came on a stripped ball by Rashad Fenton that was recovered by Tyrann Mathieu, on a nice play that proved the team can make a group effort to put together a convincing win.

Darrel Williams makes case for consistent snaps ahead of Clyde Edwards-Helaire's return

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As much as fans on Twitter may have soured on former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire following lackluster performances to start the season, he is likely to be the starter when he returns from injury in the coming weeks. In his absence, though, Darrel Williams has made a huge impact, playing the best game of his pro career in primetime this weekend.

Held out of the end zone on the ground, he managed just under four yards per carry, but Williams gained an incredible 101 yards in the passing game with a pretty 38-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put the cherry on top of his career day. Edwards-Helaire will still have his role as a starter in his next game, but the Chiefs are likely to leverage Williams’ hot streak to keep everyone’s legs fresh to gash defenses with a reinvigorated rushing attack that should take pressure off Mahomes and his receivers.

Interior DL steps up, plays best game of their season so far

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Arguably the weakest link of this 2021 Chiefs team, the defensive tackles stepped up in a huge way this weekend, sacking Derek Carr twice and batting down passes en route to a 27 point victory over the Raiders. Derrick Nnadi and Jarran Reed got in on the action in the pass rush, with Chris Jones returning to his role on the inside to give Carr fits against four-man rushes.

The addition of Melvin Ingram last week has enabled Kansas City to play a more traditional strategy upfront, and it paid dividends against Las Vegas. They managed to hold the Raiders to just 50 yards rushing on the day, holding Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs to just 16 yards on seven carries to totally neutralize the ground attack. More games like this could make the Chiefs a nearly unbeatable force in the playoffs if they can duplicate the lockdown defense that showed up this week in Sin City.

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