On Monday night, the Kansas City Chiefs trailed the Las Vegas Raiders by a significant margin. The Chiefs’ traditional AFC West opponents benefited from big plays and favorable officiating.
A certain phone call in particular sparked a renewed sense of urgency on their behalf.
Nobody in the Chiefs’ locker room could believe the penalty called on defensive tackle Chris Jones for roughing Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. However, Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs didn’t sit around and mope over being down by 10 points; instead, they used it as fuel to come from behind and win 30-29.
“There was anger just about how we had played up to that point,” said Mahomes, who threw four touchdown passes to tight end Travis Kelce. “We needed everybody to go out there and take the fight to them.”
Davante Adams who had earlier caught a touchdown pass for 58 yards added another touchdown catch for 48 yards with 4:29 left, giving the Raiders hope. Immediately following Kelce’s game-ending touchdown reception, Kansas City missed the extra point, bringing the score to 30-23. Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels opted to go for 2 instead of kicking an extra point to tie the game.
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Despite tearing apart the Chiefs’ defense all night, Josh Jacobs was stopped short of the end zone.
With 2:29 remaining, the Raiders took over possession for the last time and appeared to be in field-goal range after completing a big third-down pass to Adams down the Kansas City sideline. On fourth-and-1 with 47 seconds remaining, Carr threw incomplete after a review revealed that Adams had not kept both feet within the tackle box. The Chiefs then ran out the clock.
Chiefs safety Justin Reid emphasized that the team did not break down on each other. We overcame obstacles by fighting relentlessly.
With Carr throwing for 241 yards and Jacobs rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown, the Raiders should have won, but instead, they lost to the Chiefs (4-1) for the fourth time in a row. Daniel Carlson kicked three field goals, making it 38 in a row that he has made of them. He would have given anything for the opportunity to be ranked 39th.
Daniels claimed, “We had a chance.” We needed just one or two plays to seal the deal at the end, and we didn’t make them.
At the start of this wild game, the Raiders went scoreless on their first drive for the first time all year.
When the next one came along, they were ready. McDaniels put his offense back in the game when they were down to a fourth-and-inch inside their own territory. But instead of running Jacobs up the middle or sneaking with Carr, he threw it deep to Adams, who outran Rashad Fenton on his way to a 58-yard touchdown score.
Later in the half, Adams and the Raiders continued to harass Fenton, and a pass interference gave Las Vegas a deep field position deep within the Chiefs’ territory. The short touchdown plunge by Jacobs was made possible by a penalty called on Jaylen Watson in the end zone by Adams.
The Chiefs led 17-0 when Kelce scored their first touchdown, but Jones’s strip and tackle of Carr appeared to shift the momentum. Jones was flagged for roughing the passer by referee Carl Cheffers despite the Pro Bowl defensive lineman gaining possession of the loose ball.
Andy Reid, head coach of the Chiefs, walked off the bench in a huff. In the dying seconds of the game, after each side had kicked a field goal to leave the Raiders leading 20-10, Reid found Cheffers and ripped into him once more on the way to the locker room.
“I finally let it out,” Reid declared. I made my point clear.
The controversial penalty came a day after referee Jerome Boger’s questionable roughing call on Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett against Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady sealed the Buccaneers’ win against the Falcons.
To paraphrase what Cheffers said to a pool reporter: “Carr gets full protection of all parts of what we give the quarterback in a passing stance.” Thus, I ruled that the defender had made a full-body tackle on him.
After the game, Mahomes admitted, It wasn’t the best call in the world. It’s imperative to discover means of recovery, which we did.
Oh, boy, did they. Kelce scored the Chiefs’ first touchdown on the game’s opening drive of the second half, capping off a 75-yard drive. The Chiefs took the lead for good at 24-20 after Kelce’s third reception and a 57-yard drive that followed a fast punt.
The Chiefs were the lucky recipients of a penalty gift in the middle of the fourth quarter.
They had a 24-23 lead when replacement kicker Matthew Wright missed a 37-yard attempt from the left side of the field. Wright’s 59-yarder before halftime had set a team record for the farthest field goal. Holding on defensive end Malcolm Koonce gave Kansas City an automatic first down, and four plays later Mahomes found Kelce again to increase the advantage to 30-24.
Down the stretch, both teams traded touchdowns, but the Chiefs came out on top thanks to their superior conversion rate.
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