Raiders’ defense provides offense in upset of Chiefs

Dec 25, 2023, 1:29 PM | Updated: Dec 26, 2023, 5:19 pm

Andre James #68 of the Las Vegas Raiders prepares to snap the ball during the first quarter against...

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 25: Andre James #68 of the Las Vegas Raiders prepares to snap the ball during the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on December 25, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Bilal Nichols and Jack Jones scored defensive touchdowns seven seconds apart in the second quarter to lead the Las Vegas Raiders to a 20-14 upset of the host Kansas City Chiefs on Monday afternoon.

Zamir White rushed for a career-high 145 yards on 22 carries as Las Vegas (7-8) remained alive in the AFC West race. Malcolm Koonce recorded a career-high three sacks as the Raiders won their second straight game.

Patrick Mahomes completed 27 of 44 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Kansas City (9-6), which had a chance to clinch its eighth straight AFC West crown. Mahomes also had a team-high 53 rushing yards for the Chiefs, who have dropped three of their past four games and five of their last eight.

The victory was just the Raiders’ fourth in their past 22 meetings against the Chiefs.

Las Vegas played without standout running back Josh Jacobs (quadriceps).

Kansas City’s Isiah Pacheco, who rushed for a touchdown, sustained a concussion late in the third quarter and was later ruled out.

The Chiefs cut their deficit to six when Mahomes threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Justin Watson with 2:42 left in the game.

But the Raiders put the game away on back-to-back runs of 43 and 15 yards by White.

The Las Vegas defensive touchdown sequence began when Pacheco lined up as the Kansas City quarterback and botched a handoff to Mahomes. Nichols picked up the ball and went 8 yards for the score with 4:55 left in the half. Holder AJ Cole bobbled the extra point snap so there was no kick and the Raiders led 9-7.

On the next offensive play, Jones jumped the route and easily picked off Mahomes. He returned it 33 yards for a touchdown with 4:48 to play. Brandon Bolden tacked on a two-point conversion run to give Las Vegas a 10-point lead.

The Raiders increased their lead to 20-7 on Daniel Carlson’s 35-yard field goal with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kansas City had minus-18 yards of total offense in the first quarter as the Raiders used a 24-yard field goal by Carlson for a 3-0 lead.

The Chiefs didn’t have a single first down in the opening period and their initial one came on a defensive holding call in the opening minute of the second quarter.

Later in the quarter, the Chiefs traveled 74 yards on 10 plays. Kansas City found the end zone when Pacheco lined up as the quarterback, faked a reverse handoff to Mahomes and scored on a 12-yard run with 7:34 remaining in the half.

What is the upcoming schedule for Aidan O’Connell and the Raiders?

  • Sunday, Dec. 31st @ Indianapolis Colts – 10 a.m.
  • Vs. Denver Broncos – TBD

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