On any other night, against any other team, the Las Vegas Raiders might have ended up winning the kind of game they played last night.
When there’s a generational type of player like Patrick Mahomes on the other sideline though, sometimes even your best just isn’t enough.
That’s what happened when with 1:43 left in the game, Derek Carr threw a touchdown pass to tight end, Jason Witten, to put the Raiders ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-28.
At that moment, the Raiders had victory in their grasp. They were one stop away from sweeping the defending Super Bowl champions.
And then, like the great ones tend to do, Mahomes responded by taking the Chiefs down the field and hitting tight end Travis Kelce for a wide-open 22-yard touchdown.
For the Raiders, while they held on until the end, there were still moments in this game where they’ll want to have back.
Chief among them being when safety Jonathan Abram inexplicably left his assignment on the Chiefs game-winning drive to try and chase an out of pocket Mahomes, leading directly to Kelce being wide open for the game-winning touchdown.
In a situation like that, those kinds of gaffes are inexcusable.
The Raiders will also probably look back on when in the second quarter they got the ball down to Kansas City’s one-yard line but only came away with a field goal.
It also overshadows what was an excellent performance from Carr.
Once again doing his part to match Mahomes, Carr completed 74 percent of his passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, carving up the Chiefs defense with precision.
Mahomes. though, didn’t have the same off day that he did when he first played the Raiders this season. He would end up completing over 75 percent of his passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns.
Maybe the most surprising difference came in the running game, where the Raiders were outrushed by nearly twenty yards.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell accounted for three of the Chiefs touchdowns, while Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker only had one combined and each averaged a paltry 3.2 yards per carry.
It’ll be a tough loss to swallow, but now at 6-4, the Raiders still are in a prime position to fight for a playoff spot in the AFC.
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