After struggling for several weeks in a row and looking unlike anything seen in the Patrick Mahomes era, the Kansas City Chiefs' offense resembled its old self on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. The team moved the ball up and down the field with relative ease, dictated how it wanted to play and hung 41 points on a division rival. Kansas City was the first squad to score and ended up sealing a wire-to-wire victory with a second-half scoring barrage.
Mahomes, in particular, was stellar. His pocket presence was improved, his accuracy was improved, and his confidence was improved. As a result, the 26-year-old quarterback put up his best statistical performance of the season. Mahomes completed 35 of his 50 pass attempts for 406 yards and five touchdowns, displaying a combination of patience and big-play flair all night long. The Chiefs looked like the Chiefs again, and Mahomes told the media after the game that he knew it would happen.
"We've done it before," Mahomes said. "We've done it these last few seasons, we were doing it at the beginning of this season. We were moving the ball and making a lot of stuff happen, we were just turning the ball over. Then we kind of went through a little spell where we weren't making these drives and continuing these drives but we were finding ways to win. I knew we were going to click back into it, I've been saying it for weeks. I was like 'we're going to find it.'"
While it remains to be seen if the Chiefs found it long-term, they certainly managed to do so against the Raiders. In addition to Mahomes playing a great game, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce combined for 15 receptions, 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Running back Darrel Williams also had arguably his best game, picking up 43 yards on the ground and adding a whopping 101 receiving yards and an impressive touchdown catch. All of that is a testament to the Chiefs' play-calling, and Mahomes was more than satisfied with it on Sunday.
"They were dialing it up," Mahomes said of head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. "I thought they did a great job of marrying the run and the passing game. We had plays that we ran early in the game, kind of like the touchdown to (Byron) Pringle, that set up plays later."
If the Chiefs' performance against Vegas can parlay into sustained success, the team is squarely back in the contender conversation. The Chiefs' defense is also playing better, which is a testament to the team's perseverance and determination in getting over such a shaky start to the 2021 campaign. When world-class talent and world-class leadership combine, they often produce great results. According to Mahomes, it was only a matter of time.