Key takeaways from first half of Chiefs vs. Raiders Week 14
Sheer and utter domination from the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half has the Las Vegas Raiders in a 32-point hole at halftime. This might be the most complete game we’ve seen from this Kansas City team yet, with big plays on both offense and defense causing such a big lead.
Heading into the half, the Chiefs have outscored the Raiders 76-17 in the last six quarters of football they have played against each other. Kansas City gets the ball back on offense to start the second half too.
Here are our biggest takeaways from the first half of the Chiefs’ Week 14 slaughter of the Raiders:
The defensive renaissance continues
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The Chiefs’ defensive renaissance continued against their most bitter AFC West rival on Sunday. After some posturing by the Raiders ahead of the game, Kansas City responded by forcing a fumble returned for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage by Las Vegas. The defense wouldn’t stop there, though.
They’ve sacked Derek Carr a total of three times and would have four sacks if not for a questionable holding penalty against Charvarius Ward. They’ve forced more turnovers (3) than the Raiders have third-down conversions (1) in the first half of play. It’s not just one or two players getting involved either, it’s everyone out there making plays.
We should notice Mike Hughes, though, who is having a career game with four tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Vintage Patrick Mahomes
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Mahomes has looked the best he has in recent weeks, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after his dominance in the first meeting against the Raiders. He has completed 12-of-15 passes in the first half for 176 yards and two touchdown passes, adding three carries for 10 yards on the day.
It’s not so much about Mahomes’ stats that make this such a great performance, though. It’s the way he’s been playing. He’s extending plays with his leg and buying time to find open receivers downfield. He has a long pass of 44 yards, during which he took a shot to deliver the pass to Mecole Hardman.
This is the type of performance that Mahomes needed to give him some of that swagger and confidence back. Hopefully, he can continue to build on this game moving forward.
When will we see Chad Henne and the backups in the game?
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Chiefs fans should prepare to see backup QB Chad Henne at some point in this game. Kansas City leads Las Vegas 35-3 at the half. If the team comes out of the half and scores another touchdown on offense, there could and should be 1.5 quarters of Henne and the backup players against the Raiders.
The defense should mix and match some different players too. They’ve got guys like Armani Watts, Dorian O’Daniel and Josh Jackson who’ve seen special teams only work so far. They could be looking to see some snaps in the second half should things continue to go well for the Chiefs.
With the team getting the Los Angeles Chargers on a short week in a pivotal AFC West game, any extra rest for the starters could prove to be ideal for Kansas City.