Somehow, someway, people doubted this Kansas City Chiefs team after a rough start to the 2021 season, specifically after Patrick Mahomes kept throwing interceptions. It didn’t matter that this team made back-to-back Super Bowls and has one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Well, Sunday Night Football was a scary sight for the NFL as Mahomes and the Chiefs delivered during prime-time in Sin City. The Las Vegas Raiders were simply no match on the evening, and the back-to-back AFC Champions cruised to a 41-14 victory at Allegiant Stadium.
With it, the NFL needs to open its eyes and realize that this Chiefs team is back.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs deliver on Sunday night and silence the haters in the process
It had been a rough beginning of the season, and that’s an understatement. Mahomes kept turning the ball over, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill posted duds more often than not, and this defense kept getting beat up week after week.
This team defeated the Green Bay Packers a week prior, although Aaron Rodgers was out and Jordan Love was throwing passes. It wasn’t pretty at Lambeau, and suddenly disdain began to swirl around the Chiefs.
Has Andy Reid lost his touch? Are Kelce and Hill past their primes?
Did the NFL figure out Mahomes?
Well, Sunday night was a different story. Mahomes went nuclear, finishing the rout of the Raiders with a 35-of-50 clip for 406 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
It was a masterpiece — a Kansas City masterpiece, at that. Kelce had eight catches for 119 yards, and Hill brought in seven balls for 83 yards and a pair of scores.
Darrel Williams showed out in Las Vegas with nine catches for 101 yards and a brilliant touchdown on a prayer of a throw from Mahomes. It was just that kind of night for Kansas City — everything was working.
Byron Pringle even hit paydirt with five catches for 46 yards and a score.
Over the Chiefs’ past five games, Mahomes had totaled just six touchdown passes with five interceptions. Well, Sunday night, he flipped the script and showed the world that he is still one of the best players in the NFL — as if that was ever in doubt, to begin with.
Mahomes delivered a frightening message after the victory that should alert the NFL of what is to come
It was all smiles for the Chiefs after the victory. Somehow, this was the third straight win for Kansas City, although it was reminiscent of the teams brought to the Super Bowl during the past two seasons.
After the game, Mahomes dropped a perfect description of how this team felt in a message that does not bode well for the rest of the NFL — especially the AFC (h/t Aaron Ladd of KSHB 41).
“I think the whole team got that swag back.”Patrick Mahomes after the Chiefs victory
Yes, that is not what the rest of the league wants to hear, and it comes on the heels of Mahomes saying he would be aggressive.
With the Chiefs’ offense on cruise control for the first portion of the year, the AFC appeared to be up for grabs. Could the Buffalo Bills get in? Could the Tennessee Titans find their way to the Super Bowl?
Sadly for those teams, if the Chiefs play like this, there is almost no competition. This group clicked on all cylinders Sunday night.
The defense even got it together. Derek Carr was off all night, finishing just 25-of-35 for 261 yards with two scores and one interception. Carr’s top weapon, Darren Waller, had just four catches for 24 yards, and Carr led the team in rushing, which is never a good sign.
For the record, the last time the Chiefs were 6-4 at this point in the year, it turned out pretty well.
Suddenly, after just 60 minutes of football, the Chiefs appear to be in the driver’s seat for the AFC West — and the AFC as a whole.
The road ahead remains tough for the defending AFC champions
For now, the Chiefs are on top of the AFC West after the other three teams lost on Sunday. However, things don’t get easier for the Chiefs.
Their next opponent is the Dallas Cowboys before heading on to their bye. After the bye, the Chiefs face each AFC West division opponent over the next three weeks before squaring off against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.
That is a brutal schedule, but if the Chiefs can play as they did on Sunday, it doesn’t matter who or where they play. As Tyrann Mathieu said, they don’t crown champions in October or November.
When Mahomes is on, the world is his oyster. It was always premature to dismiss the Chiefs as playoff contenders, let alone Super Bowl contenders.
All eyes are on Kansas City, but for a good reason this time.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference
Contract Info Courtesy of Spotrac