Chiefs – Raiders (30-29): the winning Kelce

Chiefs – Raiders (30-29): the winning Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs (4-1) – Las Vegas Raiders (1-4): 30-29

Between the Chiefs and the Raiders, the balance of power seemed obvious, before this Monday Night Football. A franchise at 3-1, the other at 1-3 and a double confrontation won 89-23 by Kansas City last season (14-41 and 48-9). To prove the odds wrong, Las Vegas gamblers had to touch perfection. And if Derek Carr (19/30, 241 yards, 2 TDs) and Davante Adams (3 receptions, 124 yards, 2 TDs) flirted with the feat, they could not dispute the superiority of an already legendary duo .

Patrick Mahomes (29/43, 292 yards, 4 TDs) and Travis Kelce (7 receptions, 25 yards, 4 TDs) are exceptional and, as long as they delight Kansas City fans, their team will be among the contenders for the title.

A black and white first half

From the first minutes, the defense of Las Vegas announces the color. She didn’t come to watch Patrick Mahomes play and, on a sack full of authority, the inevitable Maxx Crosby forces Kansas City to clear. Derek Carr and his attack then return to the track, for their second series of the meeting. And their first bang. On a 4&1 from their camp, the Raiders try their luck, Carr teleguides a missile towards Davante Adams. The Chiefs can only see the damage, 58 yards away (0-7).

What to ring the alarm clock for KC? Not yet, as Crosby and Chandler Jones continue to dominate the Red offensive line, when Adams brings a nightmare to the home side’s back curtain. Two defensive interferences later, Josh Jacobs finished the job (0-14). The pressure hits Mahomes once again, Las Vegas advances again and this time, Daniel Carlson makes his foot speak (0-17). Finally, the Chiefs find their offensive rhythm and as often, Travis Kelce is at the conclusion (7-17).

There are then a few minutes to play before the break, a moment chosen by Chris Jones to put his defense in the right direction. A ball snatched from the hands of Derek Carr… Yes, but here it is, it’s also the moment chosen by the referees to bring out the big game. The men in black and white throw down a yellow handkerchief, consult each other for long seconds and decide to whistle a brutality, against number 97. An intervention posing two problems: the fault is extremely severe (non-existent) and, icing on the cake, there is no number 97 in Kansas City. New chance for the Raiders, new field goal from Carlson (7-20).

A few seconds before half-time, the Vegas defense gives the referees the opportunity to catch up, by committing a stupid and very costly foul: they offer an attempted kick, validated by interim kicker Matthew Wright at 59 yards, his record (10-20).

A thriller to end

The third quarter begins with a series more in line with what we could expect this night: the chief Mahomes cuts, his receivers have spaces to have fun and, on arrival, Travis Kelce goes there with his double (17-20). The Raiders have left their intelligence in the locker room, they chain the penalties, in attack as in defense and, as evidence, the men of Andy Reid take control, after a new passage in the end zone of the unstoppable Kelce (24 -20). A hat-trick, his first in the regular season.

And if Josh Jacobs (21 races, 154 yards, 1 TD) does what he can to allow his people to keep in touch (24-23), Vegas continues its festival of penalties and, with less than 8 minutes remaining, lightning strikes a fourth time in the same place. Mahomes for Kelce, quadrupled for the star of the Chiefs, a first in his immense career (30-23).

But the attempt at two-point transformation is missed and, a few moments later, Derek Carr and Davante Adams find a new fault at very long distance: 48 yards, touchdown (30-29). Perhaps miffed at seeing Kansas City go for a two-point conversion, the Raiders respond the same way. And are in turn stopped, with just over 4 minutes to play. Sin of pride or not, the Nevada franchise has just missed its chance.

Because if they recover a last possession, the visitors must bow, after an unfortunate telescoping between Davante Adams and his friend Hunter Renfrow. Led by 17 units, the Chiefs end up winning, as usual. A way to show that they are still one of the main candidates in the AFC, a few days before a gala poster against the Bills. The Raiders have for their part a week of rest to learn the lessons, positive and negative, of this defeat on the ground of the champion 2020.

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