Jason Owens Yahoo Sports
The Kansas City Chiefs took on a Las Vegas Raiders team Sunday fresh off another COVID-19 crisis and ill-prepared to take on the league’s highest-scoring defense.
And it still wasn’t easy.
The Chiefs needed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives and more Patrick Mahomes heroics to secure a 35-31 win and avoid a season sweep at the hands of their AFC West rivals.
Poor week of preparation for Raiders
The Raiders came into Sunday’s games on the heels of more COVID-19 drama that left their defense ill-prepared ahead of facing the NFL’s highest-scoring offense. Ten Raiders defenders landed on the COVID-19 reserve list midweek. Seven were cleared in time for Sunday’s game, but none of them practiced this week. It was a less than ideal way to prepare for the league’s highest-scoring offense.
They almost pulled off the win anyway, were it not for a late Mahomes touchdown pass to Travis Kelce. But Mahomes has made a living during his short career of breaking hearts in the fourth quarter, and he did it again on Sunday to lead Kansas City to another win amid a 9-1 start.
Back-and-forth 4th quarter
The Chiefs entered the fourth quarter facing a 24-21 deficit before capping off a 12-play 91-yard drive with Le’Veon Bell’s first touchdown of the season, a six-yard run to take a 28-24 lead with 5:04 remaining.
No sweat for Derek Carr’s offense. The Raiders quarterback responded by leading a 12-play, 75-yard drive to retake the lead with a touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 1:43 remaining.
But as so many teams have learned the hard way, that was way too much time for Mahomes. The reigning Super Bowl MVP went into quick-strike mode as the Chiefs needed just 1:15 to drive the field before he hit a wide-open Kelce in the end zone with a 22-yard strike.
This time, there would be no Raiders response, as Carr’s desperation heave with 10 seconds remaining ended with an interception.
It was a familiar and welcome scene for Chiefs fans, who have come to expect Mahomes to rally his team if given the ball and a chance in the fourth quarter. He’s done it so many times before.
For the Raiders, it was a frustrating end to a game where they looked for much of the night ready to complete an improbable season sweep following Week 5’s 40-32 upset in Kansas City.