The first 2022 installment of the Chiefs’ rivalry with the Las Vegas Raiders has come to a close. Kansas City is now 16-4 in their last 20 matchups against their long-time rival after Monday Night’s comeback victory. The Chiefs trailed 17-0 early after struggles on both sides of the ball, but swiftly turned things around just before halftime. Kansas City is now 4-1 atop the AFC West and tied with the Buffalo Bills for the best record in the AFC. The Raiders, meanwhile, fall to 1-4 in the midst of a disappointing 2022 campaign.
Early Struggles Plagued The Chiefs Yet Again, Despite Win
Much like in their Week Three loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chiefs started sluggishly slow on Monday Night against the Raiders. The team’s first three drives on offense all ended with zero points and just 47 total yards on 17 plays. Alongside their sluggish start on offense, the defense came out of the gate slow as well. Rashad Fenton allowed a deep 58-yard touchdown in one-on-one coverage against Davante Adams to put the Raiders up 7-0 with just over eight minutes to go in the first quarter.
Adams finished his night with just three catches, but 124 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders’ second drive of the night took a bit longer, going ten plays and 69 yards before a Josh Jacobs one-yard rushing touchdown put the Raiders up 14-0. The Raiders would add a field goal on their following drive to make their lead 17-0 before Kansas City started to storm back. Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce with just under five minutes left in the second quarter to put the first points on the board for his offense and bring the Chiefs within ten.
On the Raiders’ ensuing drive, yet another awful roughing the passer call shook the NFL landscape. The Raiders had the ball with 1:13 left in the first half from the Las Vegas 46-yard line. Chris Jones — in what should have been one of the best defensive plays of the season so far — was instead called for roughing the passer on a play in which he strip-sacked Derek Carr. The officials ruled that Jones applied his full body weight when landing on Carr, despite holding the football in one hand and bracing his fall with the other.
The Raiders went on to kick a field goal after being gifted the football by the poor call. However, the controversy seemed to light a fire under the Chiefs and their fans. Patrick Mahomes led his offense 34-yards downfield in just 17 seconds (and 4 plays) to finish the half with an Arrowhead Stadium-record 59-yard field goal. The first half closed with the Chiefs trailing 20-10.
A Tale Of Two Halves Characterized Monday For The Chiefs
Unlike the Week Three loss to the Colts, the Chiefs righted the ship on Monday Night, perhaps partly in thanks to the controversial call that ironically seemed to greatly sway momentum in their favor. The Chiefs received the ball to start the second half and looked renewed on offense. Patrick Mahomes took his team 12-plays and 75 yards before finding Travis Kelce for the duo’s second touchdown of the night. The Chiefs’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Raiders’ first drive of the second half and the Mahomes did it again.
Kansas City drove 8 plays and 57 yards in a drive that was capped off by a Mahomes touchdown pass (for the third time on the night). The Raiders’ ensuing drive would finish in a field goal but the barrage of Kansas City blows continued. For a third-consecutive drive, the Chiefs drove deep downfield, this time on a 13-play, 75-yard drive. Mahomes found Kelce yet again for the fourth touchdown connection between the two on the night.
The fourth touchdown reception marked a career-high for Kelce. He became the first tight end since 1985 to record four touchdown receptions in a single game. The pass also put Mahomes ahead of Troy Aikman on the all-time touchdown pass list. Perhaps most important of all, it put the Chiefs ahead 30-23 with 7:25 remaining in the game. The Chiefs would never see their lead escape them, although the Raiders did their best to make it a game. Las Vegas answered with their own touchdown drive, a phenomenal 7-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a beautiful touchdown strike by Derek Carr into double coverage to Davante Adams.
The Raiders didn’t try to tie the game, however. Instead, they went for two and failed. This made the score 30-29. However, Kansas City stalled on offense and punted the ball back to the Raiders with just 2:29 left in regulation. Las Vegas drove all the way to their own 46-yard line before failing to convert on a fourth-and-one attempt. The half finished with a remarkable turnaround from a Chiefs defense that struggled mightily at times, especially in the first half. After allowing 20 points in the first two quarters, they held the Raiders to just ten points in the second half before holding steady on the game’s final drive to seal the victory.
Next up for Kansas City is a matchup at home against the Buffalo Bills. The game will mark the first meeting between the two teams since the thrilling “0:13 seconds” game in last year’s playoffs. The Raiders will hope to put their season back on track in Week Six against the Houston Texans.