Patrick Mahomes' Late TD to Travis Kelce Powers Chiefs Past Derek Carr, Raiders

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

A league MVP, a Super Bowl championship and, now, a victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Patrick Mahomes' resume keeps growing.

Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a dramatic 35-31 victory over Las Vegas in Sunday's AFC West showdown at Allegiant Stadium. The Chiefs earned some revenge for their Week 5 loss to their division rivals and improved to 9-1 in the process with a fifth consecutive victory thanks to Mahomes' touchdown pass to Travis Kelce with less than 30 seconds remaining.

An impressive showing from Derek Carr was not enough for the Raiders, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end and fell to 6-4.

         

Notable Player Stats

  • Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC: 34-of-45 for 348 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC: 14 carries for 69 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch for 8 yards
  • Travis Kelce, TE, KC: 8 catches for 127 yards, 1 TD
  • Tyreek Hill, WR, KC: 11 catches for 102 yards, 1 TD
  • Derek Carr, QB, LV: 23-of-31 for 275 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
  • Josh Jacobs, RB, LV: 17 carries for 55 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch for 9 yards
  • Nelson Agholor, WR, LV: 6 catches for 88 yards, 1 TD
  • Darren Waller, TE, LV: 7 catches for 88 yards, 1 TD
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Mahomes the Magician Strikes Again

It's tough to blame Mahomes and the Chiefs offense for the first loss to the Raiders considering they put up 32 points, but he was also put in a position where any mistake would be magnified with their defense struggling on the other end.

His interception—the only one he threw in his first nine games this year—proved costly as Kansas City was unable to keep up in the high-scoring affair. It looked as if there would be a similar situation Sunday even though Mahomes directed two long touchdown drives that saw Tyreek Hill and Clyde Edwards-Helaire score to set the tone.

That was because the visitors still trailed at intermission when Mahomes threw a pick to Trayvon Mullen to cut short a two-minute drill that seemed destined to give them the lead.

Like Kansas City's loss column in the standings, the only tally in Mahomes' interception column this year has come because of the Raiders.

To his credit, he bounced back and led a 16-play touchdown drive that lasted 8:37 on the opening possession of the second half. Controlling the clock like that was one way to keep Carr on the sidelines, and Edwards-Helaire gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game with his second touchdown against a gassed Raiders defense.

It was just a taste of what was to come.

Kansas City scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter that both came when it was trailing. Mahomes set up the first one—which Le'Veon Bell scored—with a key fourth-down conversion to Demarcus Robinson as he backpedaled until the receiver was open and simply dissected the Raiders secondary on the final one on a drive that started with less than two minutes left.

He made everything look so easy until he found a wide-open Kelce to put the exclamation mark on another brilliant fourth quarter.

            

Derek Carr Thrives Even in Defeat

The Chiefs may be the best team in the NFL and the defending champions, but Carr clearly wasn't intimidated coming into Sunday's clash.

After all, he threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the first win and spearheaded a balanced offensive attack that also saw Josh Jacobs score twice on the ground. Going up against Mahomes and Co. in an offensive shootout may be daunting, but the three-time Pro Bowler picked up right where he left off.

Las Vegas marched down the field for touchdowns on each of its first two possessions with Carr dropping dimes to Nelson Agholor and Darren Waller. Jacobs scored first, and Agholor hauled in a beauty to end the opening quarter in style for the second one.

Carr appeared in complete command of everything as he barked out audibles at the line, escaped pressure with his legs and threaded the needle with multiple passes downfield.

He was far from just a front-runner, though, and delivered when the Raiders fell behind for the first time all game in the second half. It was more of the same as he diced apart the Kansas City secondary while moving into scoring range before he found a wide-open Waller for the go-ahead touchdown.

He did it one more time after falling behind and found Jason Witten for what appeared to be the winning touchdown with less than two minutes left.

The only problem was, Mahomes was on the other sideline waiting to answer.

         

What's Next?

Both teams face NFC South foes on the road in Week 12 when the Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Raiders square off with the Atlanta Falcons.