Super Bowl LIV prediction: 49ers edge Chiefs in thriller behind 49ers MVP Raheem Mostert

photo from mercurynews.com: San Francisco 49iers running back Raheem Mostert celebrates the NFC Championship victory at Levis Stadium on Sun Jan 19th 

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

Call me a homer if you want, but I truly believe that the San Francisco 49ers will win Super Bowl LIV over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Score? 35-28, 49ers.

Why?

Simple, behind the play of their stud defensive line powered by rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, and their solid running game centered around running back Raheem Mostert. In fact, Mostert is my pick to walk away with the MVP award of the game.

Mostert, who single-handily punched San Francisco’s ticket to Miami, FL after his four-touchdown, 220-yard rushing performance on 29 carries in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers, has become an overnight sensation and a key piece in the 49ers’ run to Super Bowl LIV. After being cut by six teams before latching on with San Francisco in 2016, Mostert became the first player to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game.

For all the talk that the 49ers’ chances to win their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy rests on the right arm of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and possibly so, but Mostert will be the guy that the bulk of the offense will flow through when the ball is kicked off on Sunday at 6:38 p.m. ET (3:38 p.m. PT) from Hard Rock Stadium.

The game will be tightly contested for three quarters as both Garoppolo and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will trade touchdown scoring drives heading into the fourth quarter to tie the score at 28-28.

After San Francisco forces Kansas City into a 3-and-out, Mostert will punctuate a 12-play, 75-yard drive with his second touchdown run of the game at the four-minute mark giving the 49ers a 35-28 lead. In turn, San Francisco’s offense will anxiously watch its defense get them across the finish line which its done for most of the 2019 season.

The defense, who has exhibited such a herculean effort in trying to slow down Mahomes and Kansas City’s high-powered offense, the aforementioned Bosa will come up with a crucial sack on fourth down to secure the win.

Mostert, who will finish with a stat line of 22 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns, will be just the eighth running back named MVP of the Super Bowl joining Larry Csonka (Super Bowl VIII), Franco Harris (Super Bowl IX), John Riggins (Super Bowl XVII), Marcus Allen (Super Bowl XVIII), Ottis Anderson (Super Bowl XXV), Emmitt Smith (Super Bowl XXVIII), and Terrell Davis (XXXII).

Everyone but Anderson is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

49ers’ defense will have their hands full against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City’s offense in Super Bowl LIV

ap file photo: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes drops back to pass in the first half of their game against the Chicago Bears on Aug 25th in pre season play. Little did Mahomes know at the time he and the Chiefs would wind up in Super Bowl LIV 

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

SANTA CLARA–The San Francisco 49ers made winning the NFC Championship over the Green Bay Packers, 37-20, to advance to Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night look like a walk in the park. It will be San Francisco’s first trip to the Super Bowl since 2013, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31.

For the franchise to claim its sixth Vince Lombardi trophy in seven trips to the Super Bowl, the 49ers are going to have to take down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, who are returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years after defeating the Tennessee Titans, 35-24, to capture the Lamar Hunt trophy, named after the Chiefs’ late owner as the winner of the AFC.

The Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7, in Super Bowl IV.

The play of San Francisco’s defense will be critical when the football is kicked off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Feb. 2. If San Francisco’s defense plays anywhere near it did against both the Vikings and Packers respectively, than the 49ers will be in primed position to win the game.

In two playoff games, the 49ers stood head and shoulders above the rest on defense, finishing first in points (15.0), total yards (252.2), rushing yards (41.5), takeaways (5), and third down percentage (23.8).

But neither Minnesota or Green Bay can match Kansas City’s offense, which can go nuclear within a blink of an eye with the aforementioned Mahomes as the trigger man. The third-year quarterback has a stacked offense, a track team of wide receivers in Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman, and an electrifying tight end in Travis Kelce at his disposal.

In the AFC Championship Game, Kansas City found itself down 10-0 and 17-7, but Mahomes and that high-powered Chiefs offense didn’t flinch, building a 35-17 lead over the Titans thanks in large part of controlling the clock with a strong ground game. Mahomes, who finished the game throwing for 294 yards and three touchdowns, his final touchdown came on a 60-yard strike to Watkins for the Chiefs’ 28th straight point midway through the fourth quarter.

That’s the type of offensive explosion that the 49ers must avoid if they have any shot at winning this football game. That means the 49ers, who may arguably have the NFL’s best defensive line, featuring Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford and Arik Armstead must make life difficult for Mahomes every time Kansas City has the football.

The 49ers have the league’s best pass defense and ranked fifth with 48 sacks during the regular season. They have nine more this postseason, largely by taking opponents off schedule and setting up favorable pass-rush situations.

That’s huge against a quarterback that has the penchant of eluding would-be tacklers like Mahomes. Especially in a game with so much on the line like the Super Bowl.

 

Raiders and Chiefs get ready for AFC West showdown

Photo credit: chiefswire.usatoday.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders prepare for a big matchup in Week 13 as they will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the second matchup this season between the two clubs, and 119th meeting all-time regular season. The Chiefs have won four straight games against the Raiders, who are trying to win in Kansas City for the first time since 2012.

The Raiders won that contest, 26-16.

Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT after being flexed into the afternoon slot from their original 10:00 a.m. PT start time on CBS. You know this is a big game as CBS sends its No. 1 broadcast team of Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson on the call from Arrowhead Stadium.

In Week 12, the Raiders fell hard on their faces, losing on the road to the New York Jets, 34-3, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ to fall to 6-5 on the season. Oakland currently sits in second place in the AFC West, trailing the 7-4 Chiefs by one game.

The Jets’ No. 1 ranked defense against the run held Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs in check, holding Jacobs to just 36 total yards from scrimmage (34 rushing, 2 receiving) on the day. On the season, Jacobs has totaled 1,101 yards from scrimmage, good for the fourth-most scrimmage yards by a player in first 11 games of a season.

His 957 rushing yards this season ranks fifth in the NFL and third in the AFC and are the most among all rookie rushers.

Defensively for Oakland, rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby registered another sack, giving him 5.5 sacks in his last three games. With a team-leading 7.5 sacks this season, Crosby is tied for third-most among all rookies and are the most by a Raiders rookie since 1991, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Crosby is one of two players (T.J. Watt) in the NFL who have recorded at least seven sacks to go along with three forced fumbles and three passes defensed.

Kansas City enters Week 13 after coming off their Bye Week following a 24-17 victory in an AFC West battle with the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City on Monday Night Football.

In Kansas City’s first matchup against Oakland in Week 2 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Raiders jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tossed four touchdowns in the second quarter alone to pace the Chiefs to a 28-10 win. Mahomes completed 30-of-44 passing for 443 yards, shredding the Raiders defense in the process.

Following the game, the Raiders will return home for their final two home games of the year against the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. Tennessee (6-5) and Indianapolis (6-5) are logged-jammed with the Raiders in a battle for a wild card spot for the AFC playoffs.

Kansas City will head to New England to face the Patriots before returning home to take on the Denver Broncos in Week 15.

Raiders are breathing down the Chiefs’ neck

Photo credit: reviewjournal.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Don’t look now, but the Oakland Raiders are knocking on the door for the top spot in the AFC West.

With Kansas City losing to the Tennessee Titans, 35-32, in Nashville on Sunday to drop their record to 6-4, the Raiders (5-4) are just now a half-game back of the Chiefs for first place with six games left in the season for both teams.

The Raiders defeated the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, 26-24, on Nov. 7 in prime-time on FOX’s Thursday Night Football at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to kickoff Week 10. Oakland’s defense performed tremendously under the lights, registering five sacks, three interceptions and one touchdown.

Kansas City already holds a victory over the Raiders, back in Week 2.

In that game, the Raiders jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before the Chiefs scored 28 unanswered points behind four touchdowns by quarterback Patrick Mahomes as Kansas City held on for a 28-10 win.

Mahomes would throw for 443 yards on 30-of-44 passing with a 131.2 passer rating for the game

The two teams will meet again on Dec. 1 at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 13.

With the winless Cincinnati Bengals (0-9) coming into Oakland next Sunday for a Week 11 matchup, the Raiders are almost a shoe-in to win that game and apply even more pressure on the Chiefs.

Kansas City hosts the aforementioned Los Angeles Chargers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Nov. 18, which won’t be an easy game for them.

Mahomes looked very healthy playing for the first time since dislocating his right kneecap Oct. 17 against the Denver Broncos. His best play came with the pocket collapsing around him when he jumped up to throw over the linemen to wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who ran for a 63-yard TD with 11:54 left and a 29-20 lead.

Oakland, who were picked by many prognosticators to finish near the bottom of the division this year but the infusion of young, rookie talent on both the offensive side (running back Josh Jacobs and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow), and the defensive side (defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell and Max Crosby) has rejuvenated the Raiders.

Jacobs is running away with the AFC’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in my opinion, leading all rookies in rushing yards (811), rushing attempts (168), and touchdowns (7).

With all due respect to tight end Darren Waller, who leads the team in receptions (51), targets (65) and yards (588) and wide receiver Tyrell Williams, who leads the team with five touchdown catches, Renfrow has become quarterback Derek Carr’s security blanket. Carr loves to look for Renfrow with the game on the line.

Renfrow is second on the team in receptions (28) and targets (42) for 299 yards and two touchdowns. His second-career touchdown against the Lions in Week 9 was his first game-winner.

Coupled with the fact that Carr, whose engineered 19 fourth quarter comebacks (which includes two in the span of four days) has played some of his best football in his career, throwing for 2,202 yards with 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions with a career-high 104.4 passer rating, Oakland is a legit playoff contender.

Raiders review: Chiefs vs. Raiders game ball goes to Mahomes

Photo credit: vivathematators.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — After scoring on their first two possessions of the game to take an early 10-0 lead, the Raiders couldn’t survive a 28-point swing in the second quarter by the Chiefs, as Kansas City pummeled Oakland 28-10 to improve to 2-0 and dropping the Raiders to 1-1 on the young season.

Patrick Mahomes earns my game ball for his performance against the Raiders in Week 2.

The Kansas City’s signal-caller was unfazed by Oakland’s fast start to the game. After registering the first scoreless opening quarter of his career, Mahomes owned the second quarter, lighting up the Silver and Black for 278 yards and four touchdowns on four-straight possessions.

The Raiders didn’t know what hit them once the Chiefs took control of the game midway through the second quarter.

Mahomes’ 278 yards were the most in a quarter since Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 294 yards in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 9, 2008, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Just like in last week’s 40-26 victory for the Chiefs over the Jacksonville Jaguars in northeast Florida in which Mahomes threw for 313 in the first half, Mahomes threw for 313 yards again in the first half against the Raiders.

It was the seventh-straight road game that Mahomes has thrown at least three touchdowns. Each of Mahomes’ last five completed passes in the second quarter, went for at least 27 yards, with touchdowns to wide receivers Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman and tight end Travis Kelce.

Robinson, who started the game in Hill’s place and just as hard to cover, hauled in six catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Robinson caught Mahomes’ first and last touchdowns of the second quarter, a 44-yarder and 39-yarder respectively.

Hardman, a rookie speedster from Georgia, was on the other end of a 42-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes (his second of the period). Hardman finished with four catches for 61 yards, but could’ve had a 72-yard score in the third quarter (Mahomes’ fifth TD of the day) had it not been nullified by a holding penalty on running back LeSean McCoy.

Kelce added a 27-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter to his team-leading seven-catch, 107-yard day.

Mahomes finished the game completing 30-of-44 passes for 443 yards and four touchdowns to go with a 131.2 passer rating for the game. The reigning NFL MVP and the Chiefs didn’t skip a beat on offense: tallying 464 yards total and winning the time of possession battle 32:35 to 27:25 for Oakland.

With the win, Mahomes improves to 3-0 against the Raiders and has now thrown for 1,021 yards with 10 touchdowns, one interception and a 123.6 passer rating.

Raiders host Chiefs at Black Hole on Sunday in Week 2 action

Photo credit: kansascity.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

Fresh off an emotional win on opening night against the Denver Broncos, the Raiders look to continue their winning ways within the AFC West as they host reigning NFL MVP in quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the visiting Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.

Kickoff from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for this Week 2 matchup is at 1:05 p.m. PDT.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was in midseason form, throwing a touchdown on the game’s first drive of the season, while rookie running back Josh Jacobs scored two touchdowns to help the Raiders defeat the Denver Broncos, 24-16 to cap off ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader.

The Raiders (1-0) simply outplayed the Broncos (0-1) for most of the night, as Carr surgically dissected Denver by completing 22-of-26 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown while posting a 121.0 passer rating for the game. For the entire night, the Broncos’ pass rush (most notably linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb), didn’t lay a hand on Carr as he was just pressured just four times on 27 dropbacks according to ESPN Next Gen Stats.

Carr led Oakland on a 10-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyrell Williams to give Oakland an early 7-0 lead on the game’s first drive.

Williams, who signed four-year, $44.3 million ($22 million guaranteed) deal with the Raiders in the offseason after spending three seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, caught six passes (on seven targets) for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Tight end Darren Waller established himself as a dependable pass catcher for Carr, hauling in a game-high seven passes for 70 yards on (eight targets.) Last season, Waller caught just six passes the entire year.

Jacobs, who got the start at running back had himself a debut to remember. Not only was the former Alabama Crimson Tide in the starting lineup, he recorded 23 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns, but also caught one pass for 28 yards totaling 113 yards from scrimmage.

The rookie was the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001 to record 100+ yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in their first game of their career. In Tomlinson’s first game as a San Diego Charger, he had 125 yards from scrimmage (113 rushing and 12 receiving) on 36 carries and one catch, respectively.

Oakland’s offense racked up 357 yards and converted 10-of-14 third down opportunities. The Raiders did commit nine penalties for 62 yards in the game.

But the play of Oakland’s defense was greatly a surprise, making life difficult for Broncos’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco and Denver offense for much of the night as he was sacked three times. Oakland mustered an NFL-low 13 sacks last season.

Flacco completed 21-of-31 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown, but wasn’t able to get the Broncos into the end zone until 2:15 left in the fourth quarter when he threw a 1-yard touchdown to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to make the score 26-14, which would be the game’s final score.

It was Sanders’ first game back since rupturing his Achilles tendon last season.

And now, Carr (who is just 2-8 lifetime against Kansas City) and the Raiders will face a Chiefs team that destroyed the Jaguars, 40-26 down in Jacksonville on Sunday. Kansas City has won eight of the last nine meetings with the Raiders, including sweeping the season-series against Oakland in 2018 by a combined score of 75-36.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was blistering hot against a tough Jaguars defense, completing 25-of-33 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns with a passer rating of 143.2 despite losing explosive wide receiver Tyreek Hill with a collarbone injury early in the game.

Hill, who won’t be available in Sunday’s game, will be sidelined with the injury for “weeks” according to reports, but won’t require surgery.

Mahomes did suffer a left ankle sprain in the game, but is expected to be ready for his encounter with the Raiders. In both wins against Oakland last season, Mahomes threw for 576 yards, six touchdowns and one interception with a 116.1 passer rating.

Jacksonville’s defense had no answers for wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who destroyed the Jaguars the entire day. Watkins exploded for nine catches for a career-high 198 yards and three touchdowns.

On Kansas City’s third play from scrimmage on their opening drive, Watkins slipped through the middle of Jacksonville’s defense for a 68-yard score, and added a 49-yard touchdown catch late in the first quarter. On both touchdowns, Watkins made Jacksonville’s defenders look foolish trying to catch him.

On his third score, Watkins beat Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey for a 3-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the score 37-13, further putting the game away for Kansas City.

Running back LeSean McCoy, who reunites with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, rushed for 81 yards on 10 carries in his debut for Kansas City. Reid coached McCoy in his first four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles — in which he earned the first of six Pro Bowl bids and the initial of two All-Pro selections — with Reid calling the plays.

McCoy, a 10-year veteran, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Kansas City on Sept. 1 after being cut by the Buffalo Bills following a four-year stint in Western New York. The deal could be worth as much as $4 million with incentives. In 2018, McCoy established career-lows of 514 yards rushing and 3.2 yards per carry.

Following Sunday’s game against Kansas City, the Raiders will begin a 49-day stretch in which they will be away from the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum; with road games in Minnesota and Indianapolis in Weeks 3 and 4; to go along with a “home” game against the Chicago Bears in London in Week 5 before returning to Oakland for their bye week in Week 6.

After road games in Green Bay (Week 7) and Houston (Week 8), the Raiders will finally play in front of Raider Nation in Week 9 against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 3.

Garoppolo Bounces Back in Win Over Chiefs 27-17

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco 49ers quarterback throws behind 49ers offensive guard Mike Person (68) during the first half of Saturday Night Football’s game against the host Kansas City Chiefs in the final pre season game for 2019

by Joe Lami

Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back to expectations in his second appearance of the pre-season on Saturday night. After an abysmal performance on Monday, Jimmy G threw for 188 yards completing 14 of 20 passes and adding a touchdown in his first half dress rehearsal.

Garoppolo opened the Niners scoring with a 20-yard completion to Matt Breida to cap a seven-play, 78-yard drive, in which he went 4-for-4. He completed two more drives that ended with Robbie Gould field goals. After a 0.0 passer rating against the Broncos, Garoppolo greatly improved to a 116.2.

The Niners improved to 3-0 on the pre-season by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 27-17. Most importantly, their dry run went phenomenal and gives hope that they’ll be ready when the season kicks off.

After showing strong defense all pre-season, the Niners defense got torched by MVP Patrick Mahomes on the opening drive. He found running back Damien Williams for a 62-yard quick touchdown strike. However, the defense was able to rebound by keeping Mahomes out of the end zone the rest of his night. He finished 8-of-10 for 126 yards.

Nick Mullens came in for backup duty; passing 8-of-11 for 84 yards. CJ Beathard didn’t see the field on Saturday night, which could give insight to how Kyle Shanahan is leaning for the backup spot.

Jeff Wilson Jr. is going to make cut down day difficult for the red and gold. He continues to impress, scoring two touchdowns in the second half, making the difference in the win. He finished with 45 yards on 12 carries and the two scores.

Kwon Alexander made his debut finishing with three tackles.

Damontre Moore stole the show with two sacks, five tackles, and four QB hits. Moore may be playing well enough to earn the 49ers a draft pick when they trade him since there’s just no room on the D-line for him on this team.

The Niners wrap up their preseason on Thursday at home versus the Chargers. While we won’t see most of the starters, we’ll get an in-depth look at how the 53-man roster is beginning to form.

Raiders set to finish the 2018 season in KC on Sunday against the Chiefs

Photo credit: raiders.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

The Oakland Raiders will finish up the 2018 regular season on the road this Sunday where they will take on their most bitter AFC West rival, the Kansas City Chiefs. This Week 17 matchup will be the 117th meeting between the two clubs, with the Chiefs holding a 62-52-2 advantage over the Silver and Black and are currently riding a two-game winning streak in the series.

Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT from Arrowhead Stadium on CBS. Sunday’s contest will mark the fifth-straight season that the Raiders and Chiefs will conclude the regular season.

The Silver and Black finished out their 2018 home schedule in convincing fashion with a 27-14 win over another AFC West rival in the Denver Broncos on ESPN’s Monday Night Football in Week 16. With the idea that Monday night’s game could be the final home game ever for the Raiders in Oakland stuck in everyone’s mind, Raider Nation was treated to a much needed victory on Christmas Eve by its football team.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr extended his club-record streak of passes without an interception to 325, a mark that currently leads the NFL. His last interception came all the way back in Week 5 against the Chargers.

Carr completed 19-of-26 passes for just 167 yards against the Broncos, and is just 136 yards shy from his first career 4,000-yard passing season. For the season, Carr has thrown for 3,864 yards with 19 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.

Running back Doug Martin, an Oakland native, had his biggest game of the season in front of his hometown crowd carrying the ball 21 times for 107 yards and one touchdown. After Martin’s 24-yard run down the Raiders’ sideline that gave the Raiders a 14-0 lead, Martin threw up an “O” to the Oakland crowd.

Wide receiver/kick returner Dwayne Harris provided the biggest play of the game, returning a punt 99 yards for the game’s first score in the first quarter. Harris’ punt return tied for the second-longest in NFL history with Patrick Peterson’s 99-yarder back in 2011. Robert Bailey has the NFL’s longest punt return, a 103-yarder set in 1994 per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Harris ran 157.5 yards on his touchdown return, the longest distance covered by any ball carrier in the last three season. The play earned Harris AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time in 2018.

Defensively, the Raiders put the clamps on the Broncos in the first-half, forcing Denver to punt five times in six possessions. The Broncos missed a 58-yard field goal right before halftime, allowing the Raiders to carry a 17-0 lead into the locker room.

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the 17-first-half points were the most by the Raiders since scoring 21 points in the first-half against the New York Jets in Week 2 of the 2017 season.

Broncos quarterback Case Keenum did throw two touchdowns to rookie wide receivers DaeSean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton, but also two interceptions to safeties Marcus Gilchrist and Erik Harris.

Both interceptions came in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory for Oakland, who improved to 4-11 on the season. In their last six games, the Raiders are 3-3.

Oakland surrendered just 202 yards on 23-of-37 passes, marking the 10th-straight game that the Raiders have held opposing quarterbacks to less than 300 yards passing. The last quarterback to throw for over 300 yards against the Silver and Black was Philip Rivers (339) for the Chargers in Week 5.

After starting the season 11-2, the Chiefs (11-4) have dropped back-to-back games in recent weeks.

Last week, the Chiefs traveled to Seattle and left with a 38-31 loss to the Seahawks on NBC’s Sunday Night Football from always noisy CenturyLink Field.

With a win over the Raiders Sunday, Kansas City will win the AFC West title for the second-straight season (their third division crown in four seasons), and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

In the first meeting of the year in Week 13, the Chiefs narrowly escaped the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with a 40-33 victory in what turned out to be an offensive explosion for both teams. Defense was an afterthought, with both offenses combining for 911 yards of total offense and scoring nine touchdowns.

Chiefs starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdowns and no interceptions in the contest with 295 yards passing. Mahomes, who completed 23-of-38 passes, connected with tight end Travis Kelce for 12 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Not to be outdone, the duo of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and tight end Jared Cook were spectacular on that Sunday afternoon in the Black Hole too, with Carr completing 29-of-38 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.

Cook hauled in seven of Carr’s passes for 100 yards and one touchdown in the game.

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes will be a longtime problem for the Raiders

Photo credit: chiefswire.usatoday.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND, Calif. — There’s no question that after watching quarterback Patrick Mahomes in his first head-to-head matchup against the Raiders, he will be a thorn in the Silver and Black’s side for years to come.

Mahomes, who completed 23-of-38 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns, led the Chiefs to a wild 40-33 victory over the Raiders on Sunday that moved Kansas City to an AFC-best record of 10-2. Mahomes did miss a couple of deep passes to blazing wide out Tyreek Hill at various points of the game that could’ve really put the game away early for the Chiefs, but didn’t seem rattled by the 54,255 paid crowd at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum.

Oakland’s 31st ranked defense couldn’t find any answers in stopping Mahomes and the Chiefs’ 2nd ranked offense all day, as the Raiders allowed 442 yards of total offense to the Chiefs and didn’t generate a sack against Mahomes in the contest.

After the Raiders cut Kansas City’s lead to 13-7 behind running back Doug Martin’s 1-yard touchdown shortly before halftime, Mahomes and Chiefs would run five plays in 57 seconds to drive the length of the field.

Mahomes found wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for a 38-yard catch, scrabbling the entire width of the field before going out of bounds with 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter. On the next, Mahomes would find tight end Travis Kelce on a 6-yard score for Kelce’s second touchdown of the day. Arden Key would block the extra point, keeping the score 19-7.

Kelce was the main beneficiary of Mahomes’ passes, hauling in 12 catches for 168 yards, eclipsing 1,000 yards receiving for the third-straight season.  Kelce joined Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (2014-16) as the only tight ends in NFL history to accomplish that feat per the Elias Sports Bureau.

The sixth-year tight from the University of Cincinnati rebounded nicely after fumbling on Kansas City’s first play of scrimmage following a 24-yard catch-and-run.

Mahomes has now thrown 41 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions on the season through 12 games played for Kansas City, joining future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning (44 in 2004, 41 in ’13) and Tom Brady (44 in 2007) as the only quarterbacks with at least 40 touchdowns in the first 12 games this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information Research.

With 4,207 passing yards on the season, Mahomes became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards through 12 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

As he continues to grow under head coach Andy Reid, one of the NFL’s best creative offensive minds,  the second-year pro in Mahomes will only get better and that much harder to stop.

The Raiders will continue to see Mahomes’ progression for years to come, having to play the Chiefs twice a season. The two teams wrap up the regular season at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in Week 17.

Mahomes throws for four touchdowns in Chiefs’ 40-33 win over the Raiders

Photo credit: @JustNowSports

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND — Whenever the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs meet on the football field, you can throw out the scorebook.

Patrick Mahomes joined some elite company, as he threw four touchdowns, becoming third quarterback in NFL history to throw 40 touchdown passes in 12 games and the Chiefs defeated the Raiders 40-33 before a crowd of 54,255 at the Coliseum.

The second-year quarterback out of Texas Tech joins Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks in this elite club.

Mahomes went 23-of-38 for 295 and four touchdowns, and also led the Chiefs in rushing with 52 yards rushing on nine carries.

It was just another day at the office for Travis Kelce, as he caught 12 passes for 168 yards and three of Mahomes four touchdowns.

Derek Carr threw three touchdowns, as he threw for 285 yards, as he went 29-for-38 on the afternoon.

Jalen Richard led the Raiders in rushing, as he gained 95 yards on just six carries.

Jordy Nelson led the Raiders in catches with 10, and gained 97 yards, while Jared Cook caught seven passes for 100 yards.

With the victory, the Chiefs are now 10-2, while with the loss, the Raiders fall to 2-10 on the season.

This was first game for the Chiefs without the services of their explosive running back Kareem Hunt, who was released from the team on Friday after a video showed Hunt shoved and kicked a woman back in February. TMZ released the nine-month video, and the Chiefs released the running back after he misled the organization about what occurred that night.

Things began well for the Raiders, as they recovered a fumble on the first play of the game, as Mahomes’ pass to Kelce was fumbled, and Nick Nelson recovered the ball at the Raiders 44-yard line.

Unfortunately, the Raiders could not take advantage of the early turnover and went three-and-out on their first series.

Johnny Townsend did not punt the ball long, as his punt traveled just 22 yards and the Chiefs took over at their own 35-yard line.

Tyreek Hill took the handoff and before you knew it, the speedy wide receiver picked up 33 yards down to the Raiders 32.

On the next play, Nelson, who recovered the Kelce fumble on the Raiders initial series on defense picked up an ill-advised penalty, as he picked up a pass interference penalty that gave the Chiefs the ball at the six-yard line. Arden Key then was caught in the neutral zone, and the Chiefs moved up an additional three yards.

Mahomes found Kelce for a three-yard touchdown pass to get the Chiefs on the board.

Just three plays into the Raiders next series, it abruptly came to an end, as Doug Martin fumbled the ball and Justin Houston recovered the loose ball at the Raiders 49-yard line.

The Chiefs took over, and got down to the Raiders 10-yard line, as the drive stalled there and Harrison Butker gave the Chiefs a 10-0 lead, as he hit a 29-yard field goal.

Spencer Ware, who was Hunt’s backup and will now get more of the first team reps in practice came up with the big play on the driver, as he scampered 17 yards thru the Raiders defense.

Butker stretched the Chiefs lead up to 13-0 in the second quarter, as he hit a 50-yard field goal and it looked like the rout was on, but that was not the case.

The Raiders consumed the ball for the nearly six minutes, and it ended with a Martin touchdown run from one yard out to get the Raiders on the board.

Mahomes then led the Chiefs on a quick drive that saw him connect with Kelce for the second time in the half, and the Chiefs went into the halftime break with a 19-7 lead after Butker’s extra point was blocked by Arden Key.

The Mahomes to Kelce touchdown pass was setup by Demarcus Robinson, who hauled in a Mahomes pass for 38 yards and was able to get out of bounds with 12 seconds remaining.

Daniel Carlson ended the Raiders first drive of the second half, as he nailed a 50-yard field goal to pull the Raiders within nine.

Like a game of pinball, the Chiefs marched right down the field and ended up scoring on a one-yard run to give the Chiefs a 26-10 lead.

Barely two minutes later, the Raiders cut the Chiefs down to 10, as Carr found Cook for a 24-yard touchdown pass; however, the two-point conversion run attempt by Martin came up short.

Mahomes threw his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, as he found Demetrius Harris from 13 yards out with just four seconds remaining in the third quarter. It was the second quarter in a row that the Chiefs scored in the end of the quarter.

Lee Smith got in on the act on the Raiders first series after Harris touchdown catch that gave the Chiefs a 17-point lead, as he caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Carr that cut the Chiefs lead down to 10.

After a quick three-and-out, the Raiders went right down the field and ended up cutting the Chiefs lead down to three, as Carr found Marcel Ateman for a nine-yard touchdown pass that cut the Chiefs lead down to three.

Unfortunately, the hot hands of Mahomes continued, as he threw his fourth touchdown pass of the afternoon on the Chiefs next series, as Chris Conley snared a two-yard touchdown pass.

Despite trailing by 10, the Raiders would not give up, as they drove down the field and Carlson nailed a 43-yard field goal to get the Raiders within seven; however, his onside kick was recovered by the Chiefs and they kneeled three times to close out the victory.

NOTES: There was a skirmish between Cook and Eric Murray in the second quarter, and both players were assessed unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

UP NEXT: Once again, a division leader will head into the Coliseum, as the AFC North Division leading Pittsburgh Steelers face the Raiders on December 9.

Originally, scheduled for 5:20 pm on NBC, the game was flexed out and will be played at 1:25 pm on FOX.