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Win over Chiefs achievement for Mark Davis to savor

Updated October 12, 2020 - 7:42 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A few days before the Super Bowl in January, Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke about what his team needed to do most to return to AFC West and playoff contention.

“Patrick Mahomes is unlike anyone else; he’s the monster now,” Davis said. “And we need to improve all our phases of defense to deal with him.”

Under a bright afternoon sun along Missouri’s western edge Sunday, the Raiders took a major step toward achieving such a daunting objective.

They snapped Kansas City’s franchise-record 13-game win streak in taking down the Chiefs 40-32 at Arrowhead Stadium, which has been more a catacomb of defeat than anything for Raiders in recent years.

In beating the defending Super Bowl champions, the Raiders’ second-half defense controlled Mahomes as few have over the past three years. The star quarterback and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player finished 22 of 43 for 340 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.

It all made for a very pedestrian 83.5 quarterback rating.

A hearty lunch

“We’ve won three Super Bowls as a franchise and have a lot of great wins in our history,” said Davis, remembering the 34-24 win over the Saints on Sept. 21. “Our first game at Allegiant Stadium was very important for a lot of reasons. But for now, for today, for this moment, this is the greatest win ever. I don’t know where I will end up ranking it overall. I have to think about it over lunch tomorrow.”

He will certainly savor whatever the meal.

The Raiders had lost in their seven previous trips to Arrowhead by an average score of 29-11. Overall, they have beaten Kansas City just four times in the past 15 meetings.

But on a day their offense totaled 490 yards and the defense allowed the high-scoring Chiefs just eight second-half points, the Raiders did little wrong over the final 30 minutes.

Derek Carr won for the first time in seven career trips here, completing 22 of 31 passes for 347 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception.

The Raiders also welcomed back key players from injury: Rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs (knee/hamstring) had two catches for an eye-popping 118 yards, including a 72-yard score; and right tackle Trent Brown and his sore calf was strong enough to help spring running back Josh Jacobs for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

Actual fans

It was also the first time Las Vegas played in front of fans during this COVID-19 season, as 16,000 were allowed into Arrowhead Stadium. None was happier than a certain team owner, who has vowed not to attend home games at Allegiant Stadium until state guidelines allow for a full house.

“I’m just so proud of everyone,” Davis said. “We didn’t fold. We kept fighting. It’s true that we need to beat Kansas City and the Chargers and the Broncos in the AFC West, but the Chiefs have been that team stuck in our rears. It was important to get this win to show we have a very good football team.

“We are building something to last. This is also a great win for Las Vegas. We take a lot of pride in that. Winning a game like this can be a very powerful thing for the rest of the season.”

This article has been updated to correct a quote from Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

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Grading Raiders’ 35-31 loss to Chiefs

The only thing keeping the defense from an “F” was the interception from cornerback Trayvon Mullen near the end of the first half.