Raiders defense leads stunning upset of Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

It’s always explosive when the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders meet up. But amid frustrations and the heat of division rivalry, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs couldn’t create offensive fireworks in the 20-14 loss on Christmas Day.

Las Vegas didn’t have a stellar offensive outing either, recording the only points of the first quarter with a 24-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson. It didn’t matter because their defense was on fire, maintaining momentum from their a 63-21 rout of the Los Angeles Chargers last week.

The Chiefs’ first possessions of Monday’s holiday showdown were indicative of problems to come. Their initial drives were back-to-back three-and-outs, a first in the Mahomes era. By the end of the first quarter, their offense had recorded a dreadful -18 yards. No team has recorded less yards in first quarter since the Los Angeles Rams, who recorded -20 yards in the early period of their 31-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 19 2004.

Early in the second quarter, CBS shared a clip of Mahomes delivering a passionate and potentially frustrated address to his offensive line. Minutes later, it seemed like the Chiefs might have finally been coming into form when they used running back Isiah Pacheco as a quarterback for a touchdown.

QB Isiah Pacheco takes the snap himself and scores!

📺: #LVvsKC on CBS/NICK
📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/2Mgsj0ajbL pic.twitter.com/swJ3ngzYCU

— NFL (@NFL) December 25, 2023

But the Chiefs followed up with the two costly mistakes, giving the Raiders’ defense some expensive gifts. Las Vegas capitalized on consecutive miscues and scored two touchdowns in just seven seconds late in the second quarter.

The first touchdown was an 8-yard fumble recovery by defensive tackle Bilal Nichols. It was the result of another attempted trick play involving Pacheco, this time gone awry.

BIG MAN TUDDY!!!!#LVvsKC | 📺 CBS pic.twitter.com/JZ9ma56Pyc

— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 25, 2023

On the Chiefs’ next offensive attempt, cornerback Jack Jones notched pick-six for a 33-yard touchdown.

JACK JONES. PICK 6!!!!!#LVvsKC | 📺 CBS pic.twitter.com/bbgBQLORn6

— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 25, 2023

When halftime arrived, the Raiders led by a score of 17-7 and the Chiefs were booed off the field at home.

The third quarter saw Mahomes attempt to play hero ball by scrambling on what felt like every snap, but the Raiders defense held. The Chiefs weren’t able to get back on the board, and Las Vegas increased their lead with another field goal from Carson. His second score came from 35 yards with less than three minutes remaining in the third.

Pacheco took a knee to the head after his helmet came off in the second half, and he was ruled out with a concussion in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs’ offense seemed to have some momentum in the fourth. Mahomes evaded two defenders and kept the play alive before he sent a touchdown pass to wideout Justin Watson.

Two defenders nearly sacked him and Mahomes threw a TD instead 🎯

📺: #LVvsKC on CBS/NICK
📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/2Mgsj0ajbL pic.twitter.com/wXn8lSmNOg

— NFL (@NFL) December 25, 2023

Up seven points with three minutes remaining in the game, the Raiders just had to hold on for the upset.