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Chiefs crush Raiders, remain perfect in AFC West road games with QB Patrick Mahomes

KC clinches top seed, postseason bye with victory
Chiefs Raiders Football
Chiefs Raiders Football
Chiefs Raiders Football
Chiefs Raiders Football
Chiefs Raiders Football
Posted at 7:18 PM, Jan 07, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the 10th anniversary of Andy Reid’s hiring, the Kansas City Chiefs earned the top seed in the AFC and a first-round postseason bye Saturday with a 31-13 victory at Las Vegas.

Patrick Mahomes broke the NFL record for total yards in a season against a Raiders team that had been eliminated from playoff contention last week.

With the win, Kansas City also tied the franchise record for wins in a season, matching the 14 wins from the 2020 season. The Chiefs lost in Super Bowl LV that season at Tampa Bay.

It remains to be seen how far Kansas City, which improved to 16-0 in road games against the AFC West with Mahomes at QB, goes this season, but the path to a possible Super Bowl got easier with next week’s Wild Card weekend bye.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones led a dominant pass rush with 2 1/2 sacks, giving him 15 1/2 for the season and tying his career-high.

The Chiefs totaled six sacks, which tied the team’s season-high.

“Our defensive front, it starts with them, and I thought they played well,” coach Andy Reid said.

Meanwhile, Nick Bolton racked up 16 tackles and broke Kansas City’s single-season record with 180 tackles overall in the club’s most-complete performance since a Week 7 win at San Francisco.

“I thought our run defense and pass defense were tremendous,” Reid said after Las Vegas managed only 279 total yards.

The Chiefs-Raiders game was the first NFL game since Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during Monday’s game at Cincinnati. Players for both teams honored Hamlin before the game as will happen throughout the league this weekend.

Kansas City got on the board first with a 2-yard touchdown flip from Mahomes to running back Jerick McKinnon, who extended his own NFL record with a receiving touchdown in the sixth straight game.

No other running back in the Super Bowl era has ever caught a TD pass in five games.

Mahomes escaped the pocket and ran toward the front left pylon before connecting with McKinnon on a one-handed chest pass.

The Chiefs reached the red zone with the longest play of the season from scrimmage, a 67-yard pass from Mahomes to Justin Watson, earlier in the drive.

Las Vegas answered with a field goal after defensive tackle Chris Jones sack stalled the drive then got a stop on Kansas City’s next drive, but Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill intercepted a deep lob pass from quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who made his second career start, on the next drive and the rout was on.

Kansas City scored three plays later when Ronald Jones II plowed into the end zone on a 2-yard run for a 14-3 lead.

Las Vegas went for it on fourth-and-goal at the 2-yard line on its next drive, but cornerback Jaylen Watson broke up a throw to Davante Adams in the end zone to force the turnover on downs.

“The fourth-down stand kind of set the tempo for the game,” Reid said.

Mahomes, who went 18 of 26 for 202 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions, iced the game with a record-setting 98-yard march capped by wide receiver Kadarius Toney’s 11-yard touchdown run.

The drive featured a merry-go-round huddle from the Chiefs before a touchdown pass from Mahomes to Toney, which was called back for a hold at the 1-yard line on the play prior to the Toney TD run.

Defensive end Mike Danna’s strip sack, which fellow defensive end George Karlaftis recovered, led to a 44-yard Harrison Butker field goal as the half expired for a 24-3 lead, the largest halftime lead of the season for Kansas City.

Danna finished with two sacks, giving him a career-high five sacks on the season despite missing four games.

After the Raiders managed a third-quarter field goal, the Chiefs capped the scoring with Isiah Pacheco’s 1-yard touchdown with 11 minutes remaining.

Pacheco finished with 64 yards on only eight carries, while Ronald Jones II added 45 yards on 10 carries.

Las Vegas added a cosmetic 11-yard touchdown from Stidham to Hunter Renfrow after falling behind by 25.

Stidham finished 22 of 26 for 219 yards with a touchdown and two turnovers and also led the Raiders with 50 yards rushing.