Originally published by RaidersNewswire.com
The Las Vegas Raiders welcomed the Kansas City Chiefs to town for a highly-anticipated division matchup on Sunday Night Football in Week 11 and the game certainly lived up to the hype.
The AFC West’s two best teams went toe to toe all night long, but the Raiders ultimately came up just short, falling 35-31 at Allegiant Stadium to drop to 6-4 on the season. With the Chiefs moving to 9-1, the Raiders’ hopes of winning the division are now out the door.
Leading up to the game, it was clear that these teams had no love lost for each other. After the Raiders beat the Chiefs in Kansas City earlier this season, Jon Gruden led Las Vegas on a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium while on the team bus, which Andy Reid admitted irritated him.
Reid and the Chiefs got the last laugh this time around as Patrick Mahomes led a seven-play, 75-yard drive in just 1:15 to score the game-winning touchdown with 0:28 remaining.
Travis Kelce caught the game-winning score from 22 yards out on a broken play after Johnathan Abram left the middle of the field wide open, capping off an eight-catch, 127-yard night for the star tight end.
Despite the lack of pleasantries leading up to the game, Kelce actually showed respect to the Raiders after it, stating that this is the best Silver and Black team he has faced in his career, via Josh Dubow of the Associated Press:
Travis Kelce: “This is the best Raiders team I’ve played since I’ve been in the league.”
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 23, 2020
After watching Sunday night’s game, it is hard to argue with what Kelce said as not only did the Raiders look like they belonged with the defending Super Bowl champs, but they would have won the game if not for a few key mistakes.
Despite the disappointing loss, the Raiders’ schedule gets considerably easier moving forward so if they can continue to play at a high level then they have a good chance of making the postseason for the first time since 2016.
The way things are setting up, there could potentially be a third matchup between the Raiders and Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs, which would be the ultimate rubber match after they split their two regular-season meetings.
If that is the case though, then the Raiders will have to somehow find a way to limit Kelce, which they seemingly have been unable to do for his entire career.
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