The Kansas City Chiefs came into Week 10 having not yet made a statement in the 2021 season. Yes, they had some wins and they were even within striking distance of first place on Sunday night, but there wasn’t a single performance yet in which the Chiefs looked like the sort of contender that everyone expected them to be coming into the year.
The good news for Chiefs Kingdom is that they made that statement on Sunday Night Football in a convincing primetime win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The offense clicked. The defense dominated. The superstars did what they always do, and even role players were coming up big. The result was a 41-14 win over the Raiders in the sort of complete performance that’s going to make the rest of the AFC shudder in fear that things might be coming together for the Chiefs heading into the season’s stretch run.
There’s a lot to break down in the days ahead about the Chiefs’ excellent game plan and execution on Sunday, but here are some instant insights from an AFC West showdown in primetime.
Patrick plays a smart game
On Sunday night, Patrick Mahomes had exactly the sort of game that everyone in Chiefs Kingdom had been waiting to see.
Mahomes has only thrown six touchdown passes in the last five games and only two in the last three weeks to put a half to the sort of overwhelming offensive numbers that we’re used to seeing from one of the NFL’s most talented players. As the Chiefs have struggled offensively with turnovers and penalties, Mahomes’ numbers have fallen off and multiple drives have stalled in the process.
The good news overall is that the team figured out ways to win even though the struggles and the Chiefs came out dealing in Last Vegas. Mahomes finished the first half with only five incompletions and two touchdown passes to Tyreek Hill. He continued his offensive mastery in the second half to finish with a final line of 35 completions of 50 attempts for 406 yards and 5 touchdowns with zero turnovers.
Overall, tt was a great showing of everything that Mahomes can do well—from nice downfield strikes to even a left-handed toss for a completion early in the game. But more than that, Mahomes played a patient game that allowed the Chiefs to move the ball methodically on long drives while taking smart, opportunistic chances. It was an excellent game plan and Mahomes looked like an experienced veteran in the way he executed it all.