Holy [insert expletive of choice]! The Kansas City Chiefs just smoked the Las Vegas Raiders, 48-9, to complete the season sweep.
There is so much to touch on with this one—from Las Vegas dancing on the midfield logo to the Chiefs firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. This, however, will be the story of the game by the numbers.
39 points was the difference on the scoreboard today. It also marks the most lopsided affair in the history of Chiefs vs Raiders. A rivalry that dates beyond the Super Bowl era, the Chiefs were the Texans when they met the Raiders for the first time in September of 1960. In 61 years of battle, 39 points is the biggest deficit that’s been seen. Congrats, y’all, we all witnessed a little history today.
The surging Chiefs defense deserves nearly all of the credit for the 5-game winning streak the team was on leading into todays game. Over that stretch, they were tied for fourth in the league in takeaways with 11. Today, against Las Vegas, they had five. Four fumbles were forced and recovered, and Derek Carr was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu once.
There will almost certainly be a narrative born of this game that will claim that the Raiders stink, and that the Chiefs, as a legitimate contender, should have dominated. Ignore that. Take the time to revisit these forced turnovers and you will find that excellent plays on the football are responsible for the result. The interception came off a pass that deflected off the receiver’s hands, but the fumbles, each and every one, were caused by tremendous defensive effort.
That’s how many times Chiefs pass rushers hit Derek Carr today. You can indulge in whatever advanced analytics you choose, but there is one constant variable in the game of football: physicality. Derek Carr attempted 45 passes in this game, which means that he got cracked about one in every four times that he dropped back. The toughest guy you’ve ever seen is going to struggle to stay confident in that environment. No doubt it played a role in the Raiders being held to nine points.
Patrick Mahomes went 20/24 for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns today, which earned him his highest passer rating of the season, 139.2. He even found a way to appease everyone who craves the deep ball by completing two passes for over 35 yards apiece. His most recent 100+ passer rating game was in Week 10 against Las Vegas as well. You could argue that Mahomes just owns the Raiders this year, or you could be positive and consider that maybe the boys are clicking at the perfect time.
The Chiefs defense allowed just 290 yards of total offense today. That’s significantly less than their per-game average of 367, which ranks 25th in the league. That number, however, is skewed by their tough start to the year. In five of the last six games they have allowed 300 yards or less, and in four of the last five games the defense has surrendered less than 10 points. Today marks the sixth game in a row of allowing less than 20. Pure and utter dominance.