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Patrick Mahomes rallies Chiefs again, avoids sweep against game Raiders

Jason Owens
·3 min read
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The Kansas City Chiefs took on a Las Vegas Raiders team Sunday fresh off another COVID-19 crisis and ill-prepared to take on the league’s highest-scoring offense.

And it still wasn’t easy.

The Chiefs needed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives and more Patrick Mahomes heroics to secure a 35-31 win and avoid a season sweep at the hands of their AFC West rivals.

Poor week of preparation for Raiders

Ten Raiders defenders landed on the COVID-19 reserve list midweek. Seven were cleared in time for Sunday’s game, but none of them practiced this week. It was a less-than-ideal way to prepare for the league’s highest-scoring offense.

They almost pulled off the win anyway, were it not for a late Mahomes touchdown pass to Travis Kelce. But Mahomes has made a living during his short career of breaking hearts in the fourth quarter, and he did it again on Sunday to lead Kansas City to another win amid a 9-1 start.

Back-and-forth 4th quarter

The Chiefs entered the fourth quarter facing a 24-21 deficit before capping off a 12-play, 91-yard drive with Le’Veon Bell’s first touchdown of the season, a 6-yard run to take a 28-24 lead with 5:04 remaining.

No sweat for Derek Carr’s offense. The Raiders quarterback responded by leading a 12-play, 75-yard drive to retake the lead with a touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 1:43 remaining.

But as so many teams have learned the hard way, that was way too much time for Mahomes. The reigning Super Bowl MVP went into quick-strike mode as the Chiefs needed just 1:15 to drive the field before he hit a wide-open Kelce in the end zone with a 22-yard strike.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passes the ball as inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski of the Las Vegas Raiders defends during the second half of an NFL game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes led another Chiefs rally on Sunday. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

This time, there would be no Raiders response, as Carr’s desperation heave with 10 seconds remaining ended with an interception.

It was a familiar and welcome scene for Chiefs fans, who have come to expect Mahomes to rally his team if given the ball and a chance in the fourth quarter.

Playoff implications for both teams

For the Raiders, it was a frustrating end to a game where they looked for much of the night ready to complete an improbable season sweep following Week 5’s 40-32 upset in Kansas City.

A win would have put them in prime position to contend for the playoffs in a brutally competitive AFC. Instead, they drop to 6-4 — still very much alive for the postseason, but looking up at six teams sitting at 7-3 or better.

Now, they’re tied with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins for the conference’s final playoff spot in a postseason that expands to seven teams in each conference this season. The race for the No. 7 seed will be a dogfight.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, remain a game behind the 10-0 Pittsburgh Steelers for the conference’s top seed, a designation that carries added weight moving forward with only No. 1 seeds earning playoff byes.

Derek Carr’s big effort not enough

Carr was outstanding in the loss, keeping pace with his under-the-radar career season. He completed 23 of 31 pass attempts for 275 yards and three touchdowns. His only turnover was the late heave to end the game. He entered the night with a 16-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio amid a career resurgence in Las Vegas.

Mahomes’ night could be called pedestrian by his standards, a 34 of 45 effort for 348 yards with a pair of touchdowns and his second interception of the season. That a line like that is just another night is indicative of how good things have gotten in Kansas City.

Kelce was the biggest beneficiary of Mahomes’ arm, hauling in eight catches for 127 yards and the winning touchdown. Tyreek Hill added 11 catches for 102 yards and a score.

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