Patrick Mahomes did as much as he could, but he wasn’t able to singlehandedly bring the KC Chiefs back in their 40-32 loss to the Raiders.
It is virtually impossible for a team to go 19-0 and not lose a single game in a single NFL season. The Kansas City Chiefs‘ first loss of the year was inevitable and bound to happen at some point, but for the first loss of the season to come against a divisional rival makes it sting a lot more. You can write off a loss to the Ravens or Saints this year, but the Raiders? That is a hard pill to swallow.
I’m not sure what is more troubling about this loss – The fact that the defense had no answer for a team they have always kept in check, or that we really saw two completely different sides of Patrick Mahomes in his first ever loss to the Raiders.
Mahomes came out guns blazing in the first half, matching the Raiders offensive play for play, even with a 52 yard touchdown bomb that was taken off the board via penalty. Mahomes was making something out of nothing, connecting with Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill for multiple touchdowns.
Unfortunately, as much as the Raider defense had no answer for Mahomes in the first half, the Chiefs defense did not have much of an answer for the Raiders offense (other than the interception that came early on in the game and made Chiefs fans think this would be the same old story against the black and silver). Josh Jacobs and Henry Ruggs ran roughshod all over the Chiefs defense, resulting in a tied score of 24 going into the locker room.
Coming out for the second half, the Raiders clearly made adjustments while the Chiefs did not. The Chiefs offense that typically runs like a well-oiled machine found its gears completely gummed up for almost the entire second half. By the time the offense began to find some traction once more, and it looked like another miracle Mahomes comeback was in the making, it was too little too late. The first L of the season was in the books and it just so happened to come against the Raiders.
Mahomes was facing a Raider defense that has probably been custom built to try and stop him. During the second half stop him it did, even as far as to lead to his first pick of the season, coming on a desperation play on 4th and 7, that was basically a Hail Mary pass. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field was a quarterback who possibly for the first time in his career, was not as deprived of weapons as he usually finds himself.
Carr now has an extremely talented wideout in Ruggs, and a devastating running back in Jacobs and both spent the afternoon gashing a Chiefs defense with no answers. It was the kind of game that would have required some Mahomes magic to pull out the victory, and sadly when the magic began to be seen, it was too late.
For the game as a whole, Mahomes went 22 of 43 for 340 yards (the bulk of those coming in the first half), two touchdown passes and an interception. He would also rush six times for 21 additional yards and a rushing score.
If I am being totally honest, a word that kept coming up in ESPN reports and even among friends and family of mine who watched the game, was disinterested. You have to wonder if the Chiefs just came off two victories over the Ravens and the Patriots, and perhaps weren’t overly worried about a home game against a divisional foe that they have dominated the last several years. Indeed this was Carr’s first win in Arrowhead, and the first time the Raiders have won in Arrowhead in the last eight games.
The loss stings, no doubt about it, but the Chiefs are a resilient team, and they will bounce back. They will need to because they will next face the Buffalo Bills, who are not to be taken lightly this season and as of now have yet to lose a game. They’ll be looking to keep that win streak going against the reigning Super Bowl champs.
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Of course I am not worried about Mahomes and Chiefs fans shouldn’t be either. The league might be starting to figure him out a bit, and that was bound to happen, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is still Patrick freaking Mahomes. Even on a bad day, he threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns and those are stats an average quarterback would dream to have on a bad day.