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Chiefs blast Raiders, clinch No. 1 seed in AFC

Jan 7, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Noah Gray (83) carries the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs defense repeatedly harassed Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham while their offense built a big lead en route to a 31-13 win in Las Vegas on Saturday, clinching the top seed in the AFC playoffs in the process.

In the regular-season finale for both teams, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes threw for 202 yards and a touchdown while setting an NFL record for total offense by a quarterback in a single season.

The top seed assures Kansas City (14-3) a first-round playoff bye and a home game in the division round.

Kansas City’s defense made big play after big play in the first half, sacking Stidham four times, one of those leading to a fumble, and intercepting him once. Stidham, making just his second NFL start after the Raiders benched Derek Carr, threw for 219 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 50 yards.

The Raiders (6-11) trailed 14-3 early in the second quarter when they drove 74 yards to the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. However, consecutive incompletions by Stidham gave the ball back to the Chiefs on downs.

Kansas City then drove 98 yards on 12 plays, capped by Kadarius Toney’s 11-yard run for a 21-3 lead with 47 seconds before halftime.

On the Raiders’ next possession, Stidham fumbled on a sack by Mike Danna, and two plays later, Harrison Butker kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired to move the halftime score to 24-3.

Las Vegas opened the third quarter with a 13-play drive but had to settle for Daniel Carlson’s 38-yard field goal to make it 24-6.

Isiah Pacheco scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter for Kansas City, and Stidham found Hunter Renfrow for an 11-yard touchdown with 6:37 to play.

Mahomes completed 18 of 26 passes and also rushed for 29 yards. In the first half, he surpassed Drew Brees (5,562 in 2011) for the most combined yards rushing and passing in one season. Mahomes finished at 5,608.

The Chiefs held the NFL’s leading rusher, Josh Jacobs, to 45 yards on 17 carries.

Kansas City scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions. Mahomes’ 2-yard shovel pass to Jerick McKinnon made the score 7-0 just over two minutes into the game.

The Raiders moved it to 7-3 on Carlson’s 54-yard field goal, but on their next possession, Juan Thornhill picked off Stidham at the Las Vegas 44. The Chiefs needed only three plays to score, capped by Ronald Jones’ 2-yard touchdown run.

–Field Level Media