(SportsNetwork.com) – The Kansas City Chiefs put an eight-game winning streak on the line as they welcome the Oakland Raiders to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
The Chiefs also matched their franchise record with their fourth straight AFC West division title and won the AFC West by two games last week thanks to a 28-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, under center since the start of his rookie season, had another stellar showing as he threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Kareem Hunt had the clinching touchdown with just over a minute to play, an 18-yard dart to give Kansas City a seven-point lead that allowed the Chiefs to hold on for the win.
“It’s really the same mentality we’ve had since the first game of the season,” said Mahomes. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, we don’t take ourselves too easy.”
Mahomes now has 34 TD passes this season with only three interceptions. He’ll face the Raiders, who will be playing their first game since their late-October bye, and has now faced just one team over .500 in his last nine starts (7-0).
The Raiders seem to have won just a few games this season. Their most recent, a 24-17 loss to the Chargers on Sunday in which they were leading 10-7 in the fourth quarter, is further proof of that.
Quarterback Derek Carr finished 22-of-40 for 259 yards and two touchdowns and was sacked four times. However, Carr didn’t have much help, as the Raiders offense did not move the ball much all game and managed just 143 total yards.
“I thought it was a great effort,” Carr said about the Raiders’ defense. “We played hard, we played fast, we played physical.”
The Raiders also turned the ball over twice (Robbie Gould had a field goal attempt blocked in the third quarter), and running back Marshawn Lynch never got untracked. Lynch carried just six times for nine yards.
“I think they gave us good looks but obviously we had a couple missed plays, a couple plays we would like to have back,” Carr said about the Raiders’ offensive problems. “It was just one of those days that is football. Football has a tendency to kick you in the teeth at times.”
Kansas City does not have a rush defense that has been fantastic this season, but it has held four of its last five opponents to 34 or fewer rushing yards.
The Chiefs are 12-1 in their last 13 games in which they have held an opponent to 31 or fewer rushing yards, and will try to improve to 9-1 when they own a lead after three quarters.
“Our defense played amazing,” said Mahomes, after last week’s win. “We know we have a great defense, we know they’re going to pick up where we left off offensively. We have a lot of confidence.”
The Raiders did force five turnovers from the Chargers — three interceptions and two fumbles — so if Oakland can’t turn it over again, it might be able to get back into this game.
As for the Chiefs’ running backs, Kareem Hunt is the only runner averaging over six yards per carry, while wide receiver Tyreek Hill has 55 catches on his shoulders. For the season, he leads all pass catchers with 62 receptions for 889 yards and seven touchdowns.
“He’s one of those guys, when you watch the game tape that we shoot him a little bit and he’s causing people to miss those tackles,” Kansas City head coach Andy Reid said about Hill. “He’s more experienced and he’s had the opportunity to do some good things out there and he’s taken full advantage of that.”
The Chiefs also lead the NFL in scoring and point differential at plus-57.