Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce Still Own the Disappointing AFC West | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 10:  Patrick Mahomes #15 and Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate after the Chiefs defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 30-29 to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 10, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

David Eulitt/Getty Images

No distinction exists in the file e book when assessing a win via one or 100 issues. But the distance between the Kansas City Chiefs and the remainder of the AFC West stays as huge as ever.

With Monday’s 30-29 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chiefs advanced to 4-1 total and 16-3 in opposition to their department rival since Andy Reid took over as head trainer.

On recreation days, a tremendous line exists between profitable and shedding. Disparity lies in how just right groups in finding techniques to win whilst positive organizations lose in the maximum heartbreaking techniques.

Case in level: Josh McDaniels and the Raiders dropped to 1-4 once they got here up brief on a two-point conversion strive with 4:27 left to play. With the recreation on the line, extensive receiver Davante Adams could not get a moment foot right down to convert a primary down as the clock ticked to 51 seconds. On Las Vegas’ ultimate offensive play, Adams and fellow extensive receiver Hunter Renfrow bumped into one any other, and Derek Carr’s prayer of a throw hopelessly fluttered to the turf.

Bad groups are not making the essential performs when referred to as upon to take action. However, fortune appreciated the Raiders a bit of extra in 2021.

A season in the past, the squad squeaked into the postseason. As ESPN’s Jason Fitz famous, Las Vegas received seven video games final yr on walk-off performs. This season, the group’s 4 losses have come via a complete of 14 issues.

The Chiefs have two distinct benefits over everybody else: quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight finish Travis Kelce are the best possible at their respective positions. In an offense-driven league, they’re the recreation’s maximum unstoppable duo and were for a while.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 10:  Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes during the 1st half of the game a at Arrowhead Stadium on October 10, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)

Photo via Jason Hanna/Getty Images

Mahomes is the standard-bearer at his place. Even as the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen dominates all over what appears to be like to be an MVP season, the Chiefs signal-caller has redefined how the league evaluates quarterbacks. The throws Mahomes incessantly makes border on superhuman.

Because of the four-time Pro Bowler’s skill to tug off the fantastic frequently, the self belief of the Chiefs offense is tangible. The group is rarely out of a recreation, and it is greater than in a position to overcoming adversity when different groups would collapse.

Kansas City had each reason why to pack it in in opposition to Las Vegas. The Raiders jumped out to a 17-0 lead with below 10 mins to head in the moment quarter. Mahomes and Co. answered with a 75-yard landing power most effective to have one among the worst calls of the season pass in opposition to them all over the subsequent ownership.

On Third-and-8 from the Raiders’ 46-yard line, defensive lineman Chris Jones burst thru the heart of the line for a strip-stack. But the officers inexplicably referred to as roughing the passer after figuring out that Jones had landed on Carr along with his complete frame weight—despite the fact that he had already stripped the ball—and Las Vegas later kicked a box objective for a 20-7 lead.

“If we’re going to continue to call roughing the passer at that high of a velocity, then we’ve got to be able to view it in the booth,” Jones lobbied after the contest.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 10:  Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders is sacked by Chris Jones #95 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2nd quarter of the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 10, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jones was called for a penalty for roughing the passer. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Photo via David Eulitt/Getty Images

A botched name of that magnitude can have despatched any other group spiraling. Instead, the Chiefs become extra made up our minds. During Kansas City’s subsequent 4 drives, the offense scored 24 issues. Mahomes finished 17 of his subsequent 23 passes, together with 3 touchdowns to Kelce, who had already scored previous in the moment quarter.

The Chiefs struggled to offer protection to the edge early in the contest. Once the offensive line settled in and Mahomes were given right into a rhythm, he used to be just about absolute best. As NFL Next Gen Stats noted, he became the first player this season to earn a perfect passing score when targeting the seams. He also holds the highest expected points added mark on non-pressured dropbacks over the last two weeks, per The Ringer’s Austin Gayle.

Amazingly, the Raiders failed to hide the maximum prolific receiving tight result in the recreation’s historical past each and every time Kansas City were given close to the finish zone. Kelce’s 4 touchdowns had been the maximum via a decent finish since the 1985 marketing campaign and the second-most ever, in line with CBS Sports’ Doug Clawson. The 33-year-old became the first player since at least 1950 with four touchdown catches and fewer than 30 receiving yards, according to Stathead (h/t Pride of Detroit’s Jeremy Reisman).

The connection between Mahomes and Kelce is just other, and it is so a lot more than the latter serving as the former’s safety blanket. Mahomes could make any throw in any state of affairs. He’s fearless in the case of uncorking a go that no different quarterback would would even strive. Kelce shows energy, frame contortion and supple palms to repeatedly paintings himself open, reel in passes and create after the catch.

The duo has attached to achieve 610 yards on scramble performs since the get started of the ’18 marketing campaign, in line with Next Gen Stats. Only one different tandem—Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett, who don’t seem to be teammates anymore—has eclipsed even 400 yards.

Mahomes and Kelce proceed to visit paintings and put on out their fighters. The remainder of the AFC West attempted to near the hole this offseason but failed to take action.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs safety Deon Bush (26) and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed (38) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

Las Vegas’ get started has put it in a black hollow so deep that its lovers may no longer even acknowledge the place they’re. Unless they make a fully sudden run, the Raiders are all however completed relating to the playoffs.

The 2-3 Denver Broncos may have a relatively higher file than the Raiders, however the honeymoon for quarterback Russell Wilson ended a lot quicker than anticipated. The offense is a multitude, and the crown jewel of the franchise’s offseason does not glance anything else like the participant it envisioned. In reality, the Broncos rank thirty first in scoring. The unit’s misadventures in the pink zone are a horror tale absolute best for the Halloween season.

The Los Angeles Chargers had been intended to be the group to in spite of everything problem the Chiefs’ divisional supremacy. Quarterback Justin Herbert is enjoying thru injured ribs. Left take on Rashawn Slater is out for the season with a ruptured biceps tendon. Defensive finish Joey Bosa has an important groin damage. Wide receiver Keenan Allen is nursing a hamstring damage. Considering the instances, their 3-2 get started is spectacular, regardless that expectancies had been a lot better.

A litmus take a look at awaits the Chiefs with the Bills on the docket. The AFC’s two perfect groups will meet in a titanic conflict for convention superiority, no less than all over the common season. How Kansas City responds in opposition to elite festival will say way more about the place the Chiefs stand than anything else they do in the disappointing AFC West.


Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @brentsobleski.

Leave a Comment