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Las Vegas’ offense falls flat, beaten by first-place Kansas City

Las Vegas defensive end Jerry Tillery stares down Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes before the snap. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

Issues getting the offense going in the second half led to the demise of the Las Vegas Raiders as the team lost a second straight game heading into the bye week.

Kansas City put away Las Vegas, 31-17, Sunday, Nov. 26 from Allegiant Stadium behind a strong second half stretch. The Chiefs have now won the last six meetings against the Raiders and 11 of the last 12.

“Obviously, 14-0 is a great start,” interim head coach Antonio Pierce said. “But you knew at some point, world champs, [quarterback Patrick Mahomes] and those guys would start making plays.

“For four quarters, they became the better team. We had a quarter here or there and as the game goes on, there’s a reason why Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in football and [tight end Travis] Kelce is there.”

Sunday’s loss to the AFC-leading Kansas City team served as the second loss at home for Las Vegas in six outings. In addition, the team fell to 2-2 under Pierce. As a whole, the Raiders sit at 5-7 heading into its bye week.

Las Vegas will get an extra week to shake off being outscored 17-3 in the second half and 31-3 from the 6:38 point of the second quarter through the final horn. After going up by two scores early in the game, the Raiders gave up 21 straight points as the Chiefs took their first lead of the game early in the third quarter.

Kansas City running back Isaiah Pacheco scored two times on the ground after not doing so since Week 5. Mahomes threw the second of his two touchdown passes in the early moments of the fourth quarter on a drag route to receiver Rashee Rice on the way to 10 points in the final frame.

“Disappointed,” Pierce said. “We knew it was coming, lot of speed on the field. Opportunities were there for us, just get the guy down [and] give us another chance.”

Raiders receiver Jakobi Meyers lays out to make the diving grab against the Chiefs. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

To start the game, it was all Las Vegas after quarterback Aidan O’Connell opened the game 4-for-4 on the first drive for 57 yards and a touchdown. That score came on an 18-yard haul by receiver Jakobi Meyers on a 3rd and 5.

The receiving duo of Meyers and teammate Davante Adams combined to rack up 154 total yards on 12 touches and a touchdown. Adams had a 14-yard reception on the first play of the Raiders’ first drive of the second quarter. Running back Josh Jacobs would break a 63-yard run for six points on the very next play to cap a two-play, 77-yard scoring drive.

However, Meyers was relied on time-and-time again in key moments including several third downs. Las Vegas opened the game a perfect 5-for-5 in third down situations, three of which were converted by the fifth year pro.

In the second half, the Raiders didn’t have nearly as much success on third downs as the team would go one for its next five in such instances. As that was happening, the Chiefs made adjustments on Adams, holding him without a catch in the second half.

“With Davante, you try and look for opportunities as much as you can,” O’Connell said. “I know I missed him on that 3rd and 8 at the end of the game and missed him on a couple more. It’s my responsibility to get him the ball especially when he’s in one-on-one situations.”

Las Vegas running back Josh Jacobs throws out a stiff arm during his 63-yard touchdown run. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

In the fourth quarter with just under 11 minutes left, Las Vegas picked up only its second third down conversion since the game’s opening quarter. Later in the frame, the team would nearly convert a 3rd and 10, coming up just a yard short. The aforementioned Jacobs, who rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown, was stuffed short of the chains on a 4th and 1.

“We were a little off in our formation,” O’Connell said. “There’s craziness going around, you’ve got to be able to corral the guys and execute. I think I could do a better job of making sure we’re on the same page and making sure we have a good play called.”

Pierce agreed with his rookie quarterback’s analysis, although he kept it much more succinct.

“We didn’t execute,” Pierce said. “Poor execution, poor alignment – didn’t give ourselves a chance. The play was over before we snapped it.”

There were four penalties on the day, all of which went against the Chiefs. In addition, the Raiders went without a turnover in a game started by O’Connell for the first time in his five tries.

“I thought our offensive line did an awesome job,” O’Connell said. “They throw a lot of different things at you and they continue that throughout the game [...] Kudos to our offensive line for playing really hard and keeping me upright.”

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