The Kansas City Chiefs finally got long-awaited revenge against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, leaving their first game in Las Vegas as victors, 35-31. Both offenses were on fire all game long and then Patrick Mahomes did what Patrick Mahomes does, driving the Chiefs down the field at the end of the game with a 75-yard drive in 75 seconds. Next week, the Chiefs face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the best defense the Chiefs will face in this year's regular season.
The Chiefs ran the ball quite well in this game with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le'Veon Bell combining for 94 yards and three touchdowns. Of course, they passed it even better with 0.33 EPA per play on early-down passes and 0.84 EPA per play on late-down passes. Unfortunately, the passing was even better for the Raiders, as they had 0.42 EPA per play on early-down passes and a staggering 0.91 EPA per play on late-down passes.
Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were remarkable in this game, totaling 12.0 EPA and 10.5 EPA respectively. Edwards-Helaire had a pretty impressive 4.6 EPA in this game with six plays of 0.5+ EPA. For the Raiders, Darren Waller was sensational, getting 10.3 EPA with a 100% success rate when he was targeted. Nelson Agholor also had 7.3 EPA and the same statline as Waller (exactly 88 yards and a touchdown for both), but was less impressive with his two bad drops that cost the Raiders.
Both quarterbacks were spectacular in this one. Both had remarkable totals in EPA per play, Total EPA, CPOE and QBR. It may have been the best quarterback matchup we have seen in a Chiefs game all season, and that really is remarkable to see with Derek Carr, who also had a 93.2 PFF grade, the best of his career. We may even see a third version of this matchup in January.
Five of the ten biggest plays of the game went in the Chiefs' favor. Four of the top six plays came in the fourth quarter, including three passes by Mahomes that resulted in 61 net yards and a touchdown. Nine of the 10 plays were passes, with seven of them benefiting the offense, while one was a touchdown run by Edwards-Helaire.
Looking at the win probability chart, the game started with the Chiefs having a 75.2% chance of winning the game. The Chiefs had the higher win probability for more than 80% of the game and they took the win probability advantage back for good with a 52.9% win probability with 56 seconds left in the game following a 15-yard pass from Mahomes to Kelce which brought the Chiefs to the Raiders' 25-yard line. The Chiefs scored two plays later with a touchdown pass from Mahomes to Kelce with 34 seconds left, which increased their win probability to 69.9%.
The Chiefs defense continues to regress, as it has fallen from the fifth-ranked defense following Week 7 to the 17th-ranked defense now. A reminder that the Chiefs have only played three games in that time. In those three games, the Chiefs' defense ranks 29th with an EPA per play allowed of more than 0.2. Despite that, the offense is still the best in the NFL with 0.284 EPA per play while the second-best, the Buffalo Bills, have 0.187 EPA per play.
The Chiefs passed on just 51.9% of early-down plays, which ranked 13th this week. Because of that strategy, they fell from a 62.0% to 60.4% early-down passing rate on the season. This dropped them from second to third in the year-long rankings, which was also thanks to the Houston Texans passing on 72.7% of early downs this week, which Deshaun Watson rewarded them for by playing his best game of the season.
Lastly, we have the Football Outsiders numbers, notably Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). Now that it has reached Week 10, DVOA has a full 100% strength of opponent adjustment. The Chiefs fell from third to fourth in Total DVOA, remained in first in Offensive DVOA and fell from 13th to 14th in Defensive DVOA.