Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) as Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill (22) defends during the second half at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sat Jan 7, 2023 (AP News photo)
Raiders Finish Season With a Loss To Rival Chiefs – 31-13
By Barbara Mason
Saturday afternoon the Las Vegas Raiders (6-11) lost to the Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) at Allegiant Stadium 31-13 wrapping up their 2022-23 season. After last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, Raiders fans looked forward to another game with Jarrett Stidham at the helm. He was nothing short of amazing amassing 365 yards in that game. For Stidham on Saturday against the Chiefs he was 22-36 for 219 yards, one touchdown and threw an interception.
This was a tall order for Las Vegas. The Chiefs are playoff bound and they matched up against the Raiders well and had to watch out for Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce all afternoon. It’s a sure bet that these two have factored into the Raiders game plan. In the last meeting between these two teams Kelce scored four touchdowns and Mahomes Saturday against the Raiders threw for 265 yards, a lethal combination. Mahomes set an NFL record for the most passing and yards rushing in a season. Mahomes rushed for a total of 5562 yards.
After the tumultuous week the Raiders went through; the horrendous episode everyone all witnessed on Monday night football involving safety Damar Hamlin and the remarkable progress this young man has seen has been an answer to nationwide, in fact, worldwide prayer. Players and coaches in pre-game warm-up wore “Love for Damar” shirts a testament to the tight-knit NFL community.
Saturday game recap: Despite the game being played in Las Vegas, the Chiefs scored in their first possession to take the early lead 7-0. It was a Mahomes to Jerick McKinnon pass for 2 Yds. The Raiders were unable to score a touchdown but settled for a Daniel Carlson 54 yard field goal trailing 7-3.
It was a bumpy road for Las Vegas in the second quarter. The Chiefs scored two rushing touchdowns. The first at 14:56 a Ronald Jones two yard rush. At 0.49 Kadarius Toney rushed for 11 yards and the Chiefs third touchdown of the game. With seconds left on the clock before the half the Chiefs intercepted a pass intended for Mack Hollins. Harrison Butker went on to kick a 44 yard field goal giving the Chiefs a 24-3 lead at halftime.
The Raiders had been able to move the ball but had not been to find the end zone. They would drive into Chief territory but had to settle for field goals every time. At 6:55 in the third quarter kicker Daniel Carlson kicked a 38 yard field goal. Las Vegas desperately needed to score touchdowns trailing 24-6.
Going into the fourth quarter the Chiefs had a strangle hold on this game; everything was going their way. Kansas City had four red zone possessions and four touchdowns. Their fourth touchdown was a fourth quarter strike. Isiah Pacheco rushed for one yard giving the Chiefs a 31-6 lead. The Raider were able to score a touchdown late in the fourth. Stidham found Hunter Renfrow in the end zone. The Chiefs had clinched for the top seed in the playoffs.
Kansas City ran rough shod all over the Raiders the entire game. Stidham did not have a great game. Granted he did complete some nice passes but was intercepted and he was just inconsistent.
Patrick Mahomes finished with 202 yards targeting seven different receivers. The Chiefs will now start preparing for the playoffs while the Raiders will be looking into what went so wrong this season as well as what this team will look like next season at the quarterback position.