Chiefs romp past Raiders 35-3 to clinch AFC West, No. 1 seed
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 31, 2018 09:36 AM
Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) makes a catch against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
By Dave Skretta, Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs finally clinched their third consecutive AFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and Patrick Mahomes and the rest of Kansas City's offense continued to shatter records in a 35-3 whitewash of the rebuilding Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Mahomes threw for 281 yards, highlighted by a 67-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hill and an 89-yard scoring strike to Demarcus Robinson. That gave the Chiefs' first-year starter 5,097 yards and 50 touchdown passes, joining Peyton Manning as the only QBs to hit 5,000 and 50 in the same season.
"This team, we love each other. We root for each other. And that's why we've had so much success," said Mahomes, who chased down Robinson for the ball as a keepsake amid chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!"
Hill finished with five catches for 101 yards, becoming the Chiefs' single-season leader for yards receiving with 1,479, while adding a fourth-quarter touchdown run. Damien Williams added 51 yards and a score on the ground as the Chiefs (12-4) beat the Raiders for the eighth time in nine games.
The decisive win came after Kansas City squandered a chance to clinch the division with a fourth-quarter collapse against the Chargers and again in a shootout loss last weekend in Seattle.
"This was a tricky game," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "We felt like we let off the accelerator there lately and we didn't take advantage of opportunities."
No problem with that on Sunday.
Derek Carr had his league-leading streak of 332 passes without an interception snapped when the Chiefs' Daniel Sorensen returned a pick for a touchdown in the first quarter. Carr threw another pick and lost a fumble as Oakland (4-12) turned the ball over on its first four possessions.
He finished 23 of 32 for 184 yards, while Doug Martin ran for 100 yards but also lost a fumble.
The Chiefs eliminated any postseason drama in the first 20 minutes.
Mahomes started the scoring barrage when he threw a perfect post pass to Hill, who waltzed into the end zone for his long touchdown reception. And a few minutes later, Sorensen stepped in front of tight end Jared Cook — who had inexplicably stopped his route — for a 54-yard pick-6.
The Chiefs defense kept causing turnovers, and Williams capped another effortless drive with a short touchdown run to give Kansas City a 21-0 lead late in the first half.
The league's highest-scoring offense continued its onslaught after the break.
Mahomes delivered the dagger when he floated a pass deep downfield to Robinson, who ran out of the grasp of his would-be tackler. Robinson was so far ahead of the defense that he turned around at the 15-yard line and backpedaled into the end zone — getting a taunting call as his reward.
Not that it mattered for the Chiefs, who were already celebrating their postseason bye and what they hope is a Super Bowl road through Arrowhead Stadium. Hill merely added to the party when he added his rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
"We knew we controlled our own destiny with that win," Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman said. "If you can play in front of this crowd for the playoffs, it's going to be a big advantage."
The Chiefs' Travis Kelce had five catches for 62 yards, giving him 1,336 yards for the season. That broke the NFL record for tight ends set by the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski in 2011, only for the 49ers George Kittle to pass him a few minutes later. ... Mahomes was 14 of 24, giving him a franchise-record 383 completions this season. He began the day tied with Trent Green with 369. ... Reid broke a tie with former Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer for seventh on the NFL's career wins list with his 206th.
Raiders: DT Maurice Hurst was inactive after dealing with an ankle issue all month. He finished with four sacks, matching the lowest total to lead the Raiders since sacks became a stat in 1982.
Chiefs: SS Eric Berry (heel), WR Sammy Watkins (foot) and RB Spencer Ware (hamstring) were among the inactives. ... LB Reggie Ragland left after his interception with a hip injury. FS Jordan Lucas (neck) and DT Derrick Nnadi (concussion) also left the game.
Raiders: Draft prep begins with Oakland holding three first-round selections.
Chiefs: A postseason bye and divisional-round game at home await.