It was just about the closest thing to a perfect performance for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon as they defeated the Las Vegas Raiders, 48-9, behind exceptional outings on both sides of the ball.
Kansas City's offense scored on seven consecutive possessions to close out the game while the defense racked up five takeaways, culminating in the fourth-largest margin of victory for any team in a game this season. It was the largest victory over the Raiders in franchise history and the biggest win against any opponent for Kansas City since 2006.
"Anytime you can put together four or five turnovers in a game, you're probably going to come out on the right end of the stick there," said Head Coach Andy Reid. "It's very easy to take a step down from just having played that team four weeks ago – three games ago – but the guys didn't. They knew the urgency that was needed, and they did a great job with it."
The Chiefs found the end zone on the first snap of the game, as defensive tackle Jarran Reed punched the ball free from Raiders' tailback Josh Jacobs and cornerback Mike Hughes scooped it up for a 23-yard touchdown. It was a wild play that put the Chiefs ahead less than a minute into the contest while setting the tone for the remainder of the afternoon.
"I did that once in high school, but I was the quarterback," Hughes recalled when asked if he had ever scored on the first play of a game before. "It's always good to get a fast start like that. I think that was huge for our success today. We jumped on them quick, and I think that fueled everybody and got the team going."
Kansas City's defense forced the Raiders to punt on each of their next three possessions following the score, providing the Chiefs with an opportunity to build on their lead. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes didn't waste that chance, leading Kansas City on a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard touchdown strike to Darrel Williams. It was Williams' second receiving score of the year, with both touchdown grabs taking place against Las Vegas.
Fellow tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire then had the Chiefs back in the end zone a possession later, completing a seven-play, 80-yard series with a 5-yard touchdown run that put Kansas City up by 21 points early in the second quarter. The Chiefs had a big lead and didn't let up, either, as the defense not only took the ball away on each of Las Vegas' next two series, but also turned both of those takeaways into touchdowns.
First, safety Tyrann Mathieu picked off Raiders' quarterback Derek Carr on Las Vegas' ensuing series, setting up a 1-yard touchdown strike from Mahomes to wide receiver Josh Gordon a bit later, before Mathieu recovered a fumble that set the stage for another touchdown run by Edwards-Helaire.
In total, Kansas City racked up 35 points through the first two quarters of play – which marked the Chiefs' most first-half points since Week 3 of the 2018 season – while holding Las Vegas to just three points, creating what turned out to be an insurmountable deficit.
The Chiefs' defense tallied two more takeaways in the second half and yielded only six more points throughout the remainder of the game, recording their third-straight outing in which the opposition scored fewer than 10 points. Additionally, Kansas City is only the third team in the NFL this season to record at least five takeaways and surrender no more than one touchdown in a single game.
The offense, meanwhile, added a pair of field goals in the second half – including a 54-yard kick by Harrison Butker – before tailback Derrick Gore broke off a 51-yard touchdown run that completed the scoring for Kansas City.
Mahomes – who exited the game early in the fourth quarter after a job well done – completed 20-of-24 passes for 258 yards and two scores in the contest. He spread the ball around to eight different receivers, including four strikes to wide receiver Tyreek Hill that helped the veteran playmaker surpass 1,000 receiving yards on the season. Hill also topped his previous career-high in receptions with 90 catches now on the year.
Defensively, five different members of the Chiefs were credited with at least a partial sack. That group included defensive end Frank Clark, who recorded four quarterback hits in the game. Hughes led all defenders with nine tackles and recorded a career-high two forced fumbles.
It all helped the Chiefs win their sixth-straight game and secure a ninth-straight winning season, which is something that no other team has achieved since 2013. It was exactly 50 days ago that Kansas City fell to 3-4 on the season following a loss to Tennessee, but the defending back-to-back AFC champions are now sitting at 9-4 and in control of their own destiny in the AFC West.
"There's a feeling [that] we're coming together, figuring each other out and learning how to play complimentary football," Mahomes said. "We faced a lot of adversity early in the year, which people hadn't seen, and people threw us down and acted like we were done. You're seeing now that we have the guys to do it. If we come together as a team and take it day-by-day, we can go out there and do what we want to do."
The Chiefs will now prepare for another divisional showdown in just a few days as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers on Thursday Night Football.