Although it sounds strange to say this, this was a big game for the Chiefs and it was won by the defense. The defense gave the offense short fields with which to work and even scored a touchdown itself in a 40-9 Chiefs victory.
The offense was out of sync once again. In its defense, the offense has not been at full strength most of the season and it appears as if Mahomes is not on the same page as the receivers yet. They have a few more weeks to get things figured out before the playoffs start. The wind might have played a role but that’s something the Chiefs need to figure out how to deal with.
The Chiefs did dominate this game but not in a way that would make you feel like they are going to walk through the playoffs. They won’t get away with this kind of performance by the offense in the playoffs against the Patriots or Ravens to name just two.
The win gives the Chiefs a comfortable two-game lead and the tiebreaker with just four games to go. It all but locks up the AFC West for Kansas City. The last four weeks are all about getting the third playoff seed to avoid playing Buffalo in the Wild Card round. It’s not that the Chiefs can’t beat the Bills, but just about any other team they could play would be an easier game.
Patrick Mahomes was not on the same page with his receivers once again. The offense moved the ball with the help of penalties by the Oakland Raiders. Mahomes was just 15-for-29 for 175 yards. He did throw a touchdown. Overall it was a second consecutive sub-par game for Mahomes. Mahomes did rush three times for 25 yards including a nice 13-yard touchdown run. I would try to argue that the wind caused Mahomes’ problems in this game but this is the second consecutive game he has struggled so it’s a little concerning.
Player of the Game
S Juan Thornhill was terrific in this game. Thornhill had two huge plays when the game was still close. He stopped a 4th-and-1 attempt by Oakland in the first quarter. Shortly after that, he had a pick-6 that put the Chiefs up 21-0.
DT Chris Jones put pressure on Derek Carr all day. He ended with five tackles and one sack. He had another sack that wasn’t classified as a sack because Carr did gain a yard.
S Tyrann Matthieu had a big interception to give the Chiefs a short field that eventually led to their first touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
RB Darwin Thompson entered the game when Darrel Williams left with a hamstring injury and performed well. Thompson gained 44 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.
TE Travis Kelce caught five passes for 90 yards. He had an opportunity for a touchdown and a couple more catches but the throws from Patrick Mahomes were just off.
K Harrison Butker was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra-point attempts. Bigger than that was the 50-yard field goal he made into a strong wind. The ball had plenty of distance.
Room for Improvement
The rushing defense was poor once again for Kansas City. We have been talking about this in most games this season. This will come back to hurt the team if they can’t figure it out before the playoffs.
Andy Reid’s decision in the first quarter to try for a first down deep in Raiders territory after recovering a fumbled kickoff return was stopped by Oakland. This should have been a field goal to put the Chiefs up 10-0 and keep the pressure on Oakland to keep up. Instead, the failed fourth-down attempt bailed out the Raiders and kept the Chiefs lead at 7-0.
Kansas City travels to New England next weekend to play the Patriots.