Posts Tagged ‘Week 10’

The Montreal Alouettes handed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers their first loss of the season with a tight 20-17 overtime victory Thursday.

Marc Liegghio bounced a 37-yard field-goal attempt off the upright in overtime, sealing the Bombers’ loss. It was Liegghio’s second straight miss after he failed to convert a potential 32-yard game-winner in the final seconds of regulation.

The reigning Grey Cup champions came into the contest with a perfect 9-0 record and were looking for their first 10-0 start since 1960. Dating back to last postseason, the Bombers had won 11 consecutive games before Thursday’s defeat.

Montreal’s Trevor Harris completed 18-of-27 passes for 213 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Both of the Alouettes’ touchdowns were punched in by Dominique Davis.

The Bombers outgained the Alouettes 369 to 283 in yardage and outrushed their foes 118-70. Winnipeg running back Brady Oliveira accumulated 84 rushing yards while quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 251 yards with one touchdown.

The 9-1 Bombers remain on top of the West division despite the loss. Montreal now moves to 3-6, still behind the 4-3 Toronto Argonauts in the East division.

Winnipeg had defeated Montreal on the road the week prior 35-20. The Bombers will enjoy a bye before resuming their schedule with a matchup against the Calgary Stampeders on Aug. 25.

With Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ allegation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted him to lose games intentionally for better draft picks, the subject of tanking has gained renewed scrutiny in the NFL. But another professional football league has decided to take a simple step to prevent tanking at the end of its season.

The USFL changed its rules this week so that the team with the worst record will no longer get the first overall pick in the draft. Instead, it will be the winner of Sunday’s game between the two worst teams in the league — the Michigan Panthers and Pittsburgh Maulers — who gets the first pick in the 2023 USFL draft.

USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Daryl Johnston explained that the rule change was put into place this week to ensure that both the Panthers and Maulers were playing to win.

“We’ve got an unusual situation in our final week of the regular season in the USFL. The 1-8 Michigan Panthers are playing the 1-8 Pittsburgh Maulers. Under normal circumstances, the loser of this game would be awarded the first draft pick in the upcoming draft. But we’re going to change the rules right here, so this weekend whoever wins the game actually gets not only the first pick in the 2023 draft but the first pick in every round of the 2023 draft,” Johnston said. “Making sure there’s no shenanigans going on.”

Of course, no one even knows yet whether there will be a 2023 USFL draft because the USFL may not even stay in business into 2023. So this is as much a marketing ploy to get people to watch the USFL this weekend as it is a real attempt at ensuring competitive integrity.

Still, the NFL should take notes: Incentivizing losing at the end of the season results in a lot of bad football games being played between two teams that are already out of playoff contention. If the NFL instead changed its draft order so that the non-playoff team that won the most games after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs got the first overall pick, late-season games between losing teams would be a lot more meaningful, and a lot more exciting to watch. The USFL may be on to something.

Carson Wentz is going on a reunion tour in 2022. The biggest highlight: Week 10 in Philadelphia.

The Washington Commanders quarterback said Thursday he’s expecting an emotional matchup against the Eagles on Nov. 14 when he returns to Philadelphia for the first time since the team traded him to the Indianapolis Colts.

“I know that’ll be a big game. A lot of emotions,” Wentz said, according to Grant Gordon of NFL.com. “I’m sure fans will eat that one up, and it’ll be fun – make for a good storyline. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be just another ball game. It’s going to be a huge divisional game for us when that one comes.

“I’m excited for it, but at the same time, I’m trying not to get too excited for that one because, again, it’s just football.”

The Commanders will also host the Eagles in Week 3. Wentz played his first five NFL seasons in Philadelphia after being drafted second overall in 2016.

Additionally, the 29-year-old has notable matchups against his ex-coach – Jacksonville Jaguars sideline boss Doug Pederson – and another former team, the Indianapolis Colts.

Wentz played just one season with the Colts, who he’ll face in Week 8. Indianapolis fell one win short of the playoffs last year after its Wentz-led offense scored just 11 points in a Week 18 loss to the previously 2-14 Jaguars.

Wentz will see Jacksonville and Pederson again in his Commanders debut in Washington. Pederson guided Philly to a Super Bowl title in the passer’s second season in the league.

“Obviously, it will be a big game, lot of emotions going on running out here at FedEx Field,” Wentz said of Week 1.

He added: “Lot of familiar faces on the other side of the ball. Obviously, the last game of last year was against the Jaguars … and didn’t go quite as planned. So, definitely trying to regroup from that one and, hopefully, set the stage for this season the right way.”

Indy traded Wentz this offseason to Washington in exchange for draft picks.

After a nearly two-month stretch that featured one win and far too many disappointments, the San Francisco 49ers were running out of time to establish an identity this season.

An opening 18-play touchdown drive against the rival Los Angeles Rams was a pretty good start.

Jimmy Garoppolo capped that long drive with the first of his two touchdown passes, Jimmie Ward returned one of his two first-quarter interceptions for another score and the 49ers beat the Rams 31-10 on Monday night for their first home win in more than a year.

“It got us into a rhythm for sure,” Garoppolo said. “That’s the way we want to do it. Just running the ball, converting on third down and then score at the end. I don’t want to say it took their soul away but it definitely did something.”

The Niners (4-5) had lost four of five games and were in danger of falling out of the playoff race before putting together a complete performance in their fifth straight win against the Rams (7-3).

Garoppolo threw TD passes to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, Samuel also ran for a score and Ward delivered the big plays defensively to give San Francisco its second home win in the past two seasons. The other also came against the Rams on Oct. 18, 2020.

It all started on the ground, where coach Kyle Shanahan had set an audacious goal of 40 carries that the Niners exceeded with 44 runs for 156 yards.

“I almost regretted it because it’s tough to do,” Shanahan said. “I’m glad I set it. We came through with it. It’s a huge team goal.”

San Francisco had its most rushes in a regular-season game in nine years. The Niners used a similar formula two years ago when they made it to the Super Bowl.

Last week, San Francisco had 11 carries for 39 yards in a 31-17 loss to Arizona.

“If you want to establish any type of dominance, especially in the trenches, I think that is necessary,” left tackle Trent Williams said. “You got to run the ball and got to make your opponents respect it.”

The Niners sealed the game when Garoppolo connected on a 40-yard TD to Samuel on fourth-and-6 early in the fourth quarter that made it 31-7.

Garoppolo finished 15 for 19 for 182 yards and the two TDs.

The Rams lost for the second straight week with Matthew Stafford once again throwing two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

Los Angeles struggled to get into any rhythm offensively in the first game after receiver Robert Woods went down with a season-ending knee injury last week in practice.

“This was a humbling night for us as a team, and a great opportunity for us to be able to take a deep breath, step away, look at the things that we need to correct, particularly offensively over the last couple of weeks,” coach Sean McVay said.

Odell Beckham Jr. made his Los Angeles debut after signing last week but had only two catches for 18 yards.

Recently acquired edge rusher Von Miller also played for the first time with the Rams and had three tackles but didn’t put pressure on Garoppolo.

Stafford went 26 for 41 for 243 yards with one TD, two interceptions and nearly a third that K’Waun Williams trapped on his backside only to have it wiped off by a penalty.

TAKE IT AWAY

Ward intercepted Stafford on Los Angeles’ first two drives of the game after coming into the night with two INTs in 85 games and none since 2016.

The first came on a deep heave by Stafford to Beckham that went right to Ward. The next came on a quick throw that tight end Tyler Higbee bobbled right into Ward’s hands, leading to a 27-yard TD return.

Ward became the seventh player since 2000 with two interceptions, including a pick-6, in the first quarter.

KEEP IT AWAY

The Niners did a good job keeping the ball away from Stafford in the first half. They had an 18-play, 93-yard drive that took 11:03 off the clock after Ward’s first interception. It was capped by an 8-yard TD pass from Garoppolo to Kittle.

That was the second opening drive of at least 18 plays in the past eight seasons, with Houston doing it earlier this year against New England.

San Francisco then had an 11-play, 91-yard drive on it second possession capped by Samuel’s 8-yard run to take a 21-7 lead.

FAKE IT

McVay made a curious decision when he called for a fake field goal on fourth-and-8 from the 17 with 18 seconds left in the first half.

Holder Johnny Hekker completed a 2-yard pass to Kendall Blanton that was well short of the first down.

INJURED

Rams: RB Darrell Henderson left in first quarter to be evaluated for a concussion but returned late in the first half.

49ers: RT Jaylon Moore (knee) left the game in the first half.

UP NEXT

Rams: Los Angeles has a bye next week before visiting Green Bay on Nov. 28

49ers: Visit Jacksonville on Sunday.

Cam Newton provided a flashback to his Superman days in his second debut with the Panthers, throwing for one touchdown, running for another and sparking Carolina to a 34-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Newton — the 2015 NFL MVP who was signed by the quarterback-thin Panthers earlier in the week — made his presence felt on his first play of the game, entering on third down and screaming “I’m back!” after barreling into the right corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown.

On Carolina’s next drive, Newton threw a 2-yard TD pass to Robby Anderson as the Panthers (5-5) built a stunning 17-0 lead in the first quarter and a 23-0 advantage by halftime.

The Cardinals (8-2) had the best record in the NFL coming into the game but looked discombobulated from the beginning.

Backup Colt McCoy, who was playing a second straight game for the injured Kyler Murray, coughed up a fumble after being sacked on the third play of the game. It gave Carolina great field position that it eventually converted into Newton’s touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.

It only got worse for Arizona.

The Cardinals — who were also missing top receiver DeAndre Hopkins — managed 169 total yards and could never mount a response after Carolina’s opening onslaught.

Carolina’s struggling offense looked reborn with Newton in the mix. The majority of snaps went to P.J. Walker, who completed 22 of 29 passes for 167 yards, and Newton was saved for mostly short-yardage situations. Christian McCaffrey also had a big day in the backfield, running for 95 yards and catching 10 passes for 66 yards.

Carolina’s defense also helped, coming up with an early fumble recovery, an interception and a fourth-down stop that gave the Panthers good field position.

Newton’s deal is worth $10 million, including $4.5 million fully guaranteed and a $1.5 million roster bonus, according to a person familiar with the situation. The 32-year-old spent the best years of his career with the Panthers before signing with the Patriots before the 2020 season and being released prior to this season.

At least for one week, it appears the deal is worth every penny.

REDDICK’S GREAT START

Carolina’s defense had an excellent start when Haason Reddick sacked McCoy and caused a fumble that the Panthers recovered. Reddick played his first four NFL seasons for the Cardinals before signing with the Panthers during the offseason.

The Panthers took over deep in Cardinals territory and converted the turnover into a touchdown when Newton scored on a 2-yard run for a 7-0 lead. A fired-up Newton earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play but the touchdown still counted.

Reddick has 9 1/2 sacks this season.

FOURTH-DOWN FOLLIES

The Cardinals’ offense has been aggressive on fourth down all season, but going for it backfired in the first quarter on Sunday.

Arizona had the ball on its own 43 on fourth down and coach Kliff Kingsbury called a quarterback sneak for McCoy, who was stuffed well short. Carolina was leading 7-0 at that point and used the short field to score another quick touchdown.

JUST FOR KICKS

Carolina’s Zane Gonzalez made field goals from 44, 48 and 49 yards in the first half as the Panthers built their 23-0 lead. He added a 27-yard field goal in the second half.

The Cardinals released Gonzalez in the offseason, electing to let him sign elsewhere after an up-and-down 2020.

INJURIES

Panthers: S Myles Hartsfield (hand) left in the second half and didn’t return.

Cardinals: McCoy (chest) left the game in the third quarter and didn’t return. Third-string quarterback Chris Streveler finished the game.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Host Washington next Sunday.

Cardinals: At Seattle next Sunday.

Tom Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter as part of an implosion by the reigning Super Bowl champions, contributing to Washington upsetting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29-19 Sunday while losing Chase Young to injury.

Tampa Bay lost a second consecutive game on either side of its bye week and was dealt an extra blow in the last minute when nose tackle Vita Vea was carted off with an injury on the final play of a 19-play, 80-yard drive over 10:26 that sealed the victory for Washington (3-6).

Brady threw two picks just like the loss to New Orleans two weeks ago and finished 23 of 34 for 220 yards and two touchdown passes.

The Buccaneers (6-3) couldn’t find much of a rhythm on either side of the ball in a rematch of their wild-card victory at Washington from January. Brady’s interceptions on two of his first six throws — one off the hands of rookie Jaelon Darden and another inexplicable toss that was caught by Washington safety Bobby McCain — disjointed the NFL’s best scoring and passing offense, which did not have a first-half touchdown for just the fifth time in the past two seasons.

Brady bounced back in the second half, throwing TD passes to Cameron Brate and Mike Evans. The 40-yard connection with Evans cut the Buccaneers’ deficit to 23-19.

That’s where the comeback bid faltered, when Tampa Bay’s defense could not stop Washington’s offense on the final, clock-draining drive. Coach Ron Rivera lived up to his “Riverboat Ron” nickname by going for it on fourth-and-goal from the Tampa Bay 1-yard line with 31 seconds to go, and Antonio Gibson’s second touchdown run of the day put the game away and caused Vea’s injury, which could linger for the Buccaneers.

Washington QB Taylor Heinicke put his stamp on the improbable result much earlier, hooking up with DeAndre Carter for a 20-yard TD pass and leading a 71-yard drive in the third quarter. A pass interference penalty on the Buccaneers set up Gibson’s first TD run — one of several self-inflicted mistakes made by Tampa Bay, which was flagged six times for 43 yards.

Heinicke, who earned his contract by impressing in a surprise start against the Buccaneers in the playoffs, was 26 of 32 for 256 yards and also rushed for 15 yards.

YOUNG INJURED

The potentially serious right knee injury to Young put a serious damper on Washington’s victory.

The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year crumpled to the ground with what appeared to be a non-contact injury after trying to get past left tackle Donovan Smith on a pass rush in the second quarter. Young pulled off and threw his helmet while down on the field before he was checked on by team trainers.

A cart was driven out onto the grass, but Young did not get on it. Instead, he motioned for right guard Brandon Scherff to give him a hand to help stand up.

A wincing Young then headed toward the locker room, draping his arms on the shoulders of two people while walking with a hitch. He returned to the sideline in the second half on crutches.

SLYE COMES UP BIG

New kicker Joey Slye was perfect in his Washington debut, making field goals from 46, 28 and 29 yards and going 2 for 2 on extra points. Slye also took a perfect angle to run a kick returner out of bounds in the second half.

REMEMBERING HUFF

A moment of silence was held for former Washington linebacker and broadcaster Sam Huff, who died Saturday at age 87. Huff went to one Pro Bowl with Washington and was a fixture in the team’s broadcast booth for decades after his playing days were over.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: CB Richard Sherman suffered a calf injury during pregame warmups and did not play. … WR Antonio Brown (ankle) and TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs) were inactive.

Washington: TE Logan Thomas missed a fifth consecutive game with a hamstring injury. … CB Benjamin St-Juste was ruled out earlier in the week with a concussion. … Rookie RT Sam Cosmi was back in uniform after missing time with an ankle injury, but Cornelius Lucas got the start.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Look to avoid a three-game skid when they host the New York Giants on Monday, Nov. 22.

Washington: Visit the Carolina Panthers in Ron Rivera’s return and what could be Cam Newton’s first game back with the team that drafted him.

Ryan Tannehill ran and threw for touchdowns as the Tennessee Titans held off the New Orleans Saints 23-21 Sunday for their NFL-best sixth straight victory.

The Titans (8-2) also became he second team in NFL history to win five straight over playoff teams from the season before, joining the 2003 Philadelphia Eagles. Tennessee improved to 7-0 overall against 2020 playoff teams this season.

The Saints (5-4) dropped their second straight since losing quarterback Jameis Winston to a season-ending ACL injury.

Against the Titans, they also played without a trio of starters in four-time Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara because of an injured knee, left tackle Terron Armstead (knee and shoulder injuries) and defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson (foot), who was just put on injured reserve.

The Saints still had a chance to tie late.

Trevor Siemian, the Titans’ designated survivor QB for part of last season, threw a 15-yard TD pass to Marquez Callaway with 1:16 left, pulling the Saints within 23-21. But Adam Trautman was flagged for a false start, pushing the Saints back to the Titans 7 on the 2-pointer.

Siemian’s pass to Mark Ingram at the right edge of the end zone was incomplete, with Titans cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins defending. That was the Saints’ eighth straight failed 2-point conversion over several seasons.

The Titans recovered the onside kick to seal their tightest victory yet.

The Saints could have kicked the extra point for the win if kicker Brian Johnson hadn’t missed two extra points earlier. Johnson did kick a 20-yard field goal with 5:33 left to pull New Orleans within 23-15, but the Titans stopped the Saints on five plays with goal to go trailing 23-12.

Jeffery Simmons, who had a career-high three of the Titans’ five sacks in last week’s win over the Rams, had two more by halftime. Harold Landry also had a sack, giving him a career-high 10 for the season, and the Titans had four by halftime.

The AFC-leading Titans had some luck extending their streak.

A slight roughing-the-passer penalty on linebacker Kaden Elliss wiped out Tannehill’s interception in the end zone by safety Marcus Williams, and he later scored on a 1-yard sneak for a 13-6 lead. Tannehill also fumbled a snap at the end of the third quarter, and receiver A.J. Brown recovered for a 6-yard gain and a first down.

Dylan Cole stripped Deonte Harris of the ball on the opening kickoff of the third quarter to set up Tannehill’s 2-yard TD pass to MyCole Pruitt. That prompted fans to start volleying a beach ball around the lower bowl on the Tennessee sideline.

The ball disappeared as the Saints kept getting the football back in the fourth quarter.

Ingram, who became the Saints’ all-time rushing leader in the third quarter, scored on a 13-yard run late in the third period to start the comeback, pulling New Orleans within 20-12.

INJURIES

Saints: WR Ty Montgomery II went to the locker room late in New Orleans’ second series of the game with an inured finger. He didn’t return.

Titans linebacker Bud Dupree, their biggest free agent signee this offseason, went to the locker room early with an abdominal issue and was declared out. Both OT Taylor Lewan and linebacker Ola Adeniyi dealt with cramps but returned.

UP NEXT

The Saints continue a two-game road swing visiting Philadelphia next Sunday.

The Titans host the Houston Texans next Sunday.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods is out for the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL in practice Friday, the team announced Saturday.

“You’re sick for Robert … He’s epitomized everything that’s been right about this place,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said.

He added: “You don’t ever replace a player like (Woods), but it will certainly require a lot of guys to play better and really carry the torch because of everything you miss without him.”

The injury occurred on the same day the club signed free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Woods didn’t notice the severity of the injury immediately after going down in practice, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The nine-year veteran reportedly finished the session and met with the media before tests confirmed the seriousness of his ailment.

Woods ranks second on the team with 45 receptions, 566 yards, and four touchdowns this season. Los Angles will now lean heavily on wideouts Cooper KuppVan Jefferson, and the newly acquired Beckham.

The Rams recently released wideout DeSean Jackson, who was frustrated with a lack of playing time.

 

Aaron Rodgers was uneven in his return from COVID-19 but did more than enough to support a standout Green Bay Packers defense in a 17-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

A.J. Dillon rushed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Packers, who handed the Seahawks their first shutout loss in a decade.

A week after he was forced to sit out a loss at Kansas City because of a positive COVID-19 test and the subsequent revelation that he was not vaccinated, Rodgers went 23 of 37 for 292 yards and threw an interception in the end zone in the third quarter.

Rodgers did not practice all week and was cleared to play Saturday under the NFL’s protocols for unvaccinated players. The QB said before the season he was “immunized,” and after his positive test, he detailed in an incendiary radio interview his reasons for seeking alternatives to vaccination and his skepticism about the shots’ effectiveness. Rodgers later apologized for the misleading statement about his vaccination status.

Although Rodgers was hardly at his best, his return made this much clear: With him, the Packers (8-2) are among the best teams in the NFC and a Super Bowl contender.

Seattle’s Russell Wilson also struggled in his return after missing three games with an injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand. He went 20 of 40 for 161 yards with two interceptions. The Seahawks (3-6) wasted two scoring opportunities when Kevin King and Adrian Amos picked off Wilson passes in the end zone.

The Packers recorded their first shutout since a 22-0 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 30, 2018. The Seahawks hadn’t been shut out since falling 24-0 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 18, 2011.

Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf was ejected with 1:19 remaining following a skirmish after the whistle that resulted in penalties for both teams. Metcalf appeared to grab the face mask of at least one Packers player.

Seattle has lost its last 10 games at Lambeau Field, including three in the playoffs, and hasn’t won at Green Bay since 1999.

Green Bay’s 3-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter matched the second-lowest score through three quarters of any NFL game since 2008. Dallas and Philadelphia were scoreless through the third quarter of a 2017 game that Dallas eventually won 6-0.

.With 2020 Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones sidelined by a knee injury in the second half, Dillon carried the Packers’ rushing attack down the stretch.

On third-and-goal from the 3, Dillon ran into Bobby Wagner around the line of scrimmage but essentially carried the six-time All-Pro linebacker into the end zone for his first touchdown run of the season. That extended Green Bay’s lead to 10-0 with 10:37 left.

Dillon also scored on a 2-yard run with 2 minutes left after setting up that touchdown with a 50-yard reception. He rushed for 66 yards on 21 carries and had two catches for 62 yards.

Green Bay outgained Seattle 201 yards to 86 in the first half but failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Mason Crosby missed a 42-yard field goal and another possession ended with Rodgers throwing incomplete on fourth-and-2 from the 34.

Seattle drove to the Green Bay 35 in the closing seconds of the first half, but a holding penalty on Damien Lewis pushed the Seahawks out of field-goal range and Wilson’s Hail Mary attempt was incomplete.

With Seattle down 3-0, Wilson threw a third-and-10 pass from the 12 that King intercepted in the end zone. On the ensuing drive, Jamal Adams picked off Rodgers’ third-and-6 pass from the 15.

INJURED

Seahawks: OT Duane Brown left with a hip injury.

Packers: Jones did not return after his knee injury. … LB Rashan Gary appeared to hurt his arm in the second half. … OLB Whitney Mercilus injured his biceps in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Seahawks: Host Arizona on Sunday.

Packers: At Minnesota on Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes scrambled away from pressure as he ran toward the line of scrimmage and launched a deep ball that turned a seemingly broken play into a touchdown.

The Mahomes of old was back Sunday night and the Kansas City Chiefs are back at their usual spot atop the division.

Mahomes threw five touchdown passes and returned to his usual form after a surprisingly shaky stretch this season, and the Chiefs raced past the Las Vegas Raiders 41-14 on Sunday night.

“We’ve done it before,” Mahomes said. “We’ve done it these last few seasons we were doing at the beginning of this season. We were moving the ball and making a lot of stuff happen. We were just turning the ball over. Then we kind of went through a little little spell where we weren’t making these drives and we were still finding ways to win. I knew that we’re going to click back into it.”

Mahomes and the Chiefs (6-4) showed little resemblance to the team that overpowered the AFC the past three seasons over the first nine weeks, raising questions about whether they could make it back to a third straight Super Bowl.

But they used a dominant performance over the Raiders (5-4) on a day everyone else in the division lost to return to the top of the standings.

Mahomes completed three short TD passes before flashing his playmaking brilliance early in the fourth quarter after Kansas City converted a fake punt on a 16-yard pass from Tommy Townsend to Marcus Kemp.

Two plays later, Mahomes scrambled and lofted a deep pass across his body that Darrel Williams caught for a 38-yard TD that made it 34-14. He almost decided to run or throw a shorter pass before he saw the chance to make the big play.

“Out of peripheral I saw Darrel,” Mahomes said. “I actually underthrew it a little bit. He tells me he catch, Darrel does. I guess I see that he can. So he made a pretty big-time play.”

Mahomes added a 22-yarder to Byron Pringle and finished 35 for 50 for 406 yards. He also connected on an 8-yarder to Tyreek Hill in the first quarter and then 1-yarders to Hill and rookie tight end Noah Gray.

“He’s a guy that never gets comfortable,” Hill said about Mahomes. “He’s always trying to get better. He’s always trying to find ways to improve himself, the team. Because without him, we go nowhere. He knows that.”

The Raiders have dropped back-to-back games after a promising start to the season as poor execution and off-field issues have done them in.

They won two straight games after coach Jon Gruden resigned following the publication of his old offensive emails but haven’t looked the same the past two weeks. Both losses followed the release of Henry Ruggs III, who was charged with felonies in a DUI crash that killed a 23-year-old woman.

Las Vegas has turned the ball over five times the past two weeks, matching the total from the first seven games, and the improved defense was unable to slow down Mahomes.

Derek Carr threw two TD passes but also had his third interception in the past two weeks as the offense struggled to get going.

The Raiders were held to 82 yards in the first half, their fewest in a home game in eight years, and went 1 for 9 on third downs to fall down double digits in the first half for the fifth time this season.

“We got in a hole and against this team that’s hard,” Carr said. “They just play soft coverage. They get a big lead, play soft coverage, blitz here and there and make you throw in front. It’s a hard way to do it.”

ROUGH DEBUT

The Raiders brought in speedy receiver DeSean Jackson this week to fill the void left by Ruggs’ release. Jackson had an inauspicious welcome to Las Vegas. On his first target of the game in the third quarter, Jackson caught a 40-yard pass from Carr. But Rashad Fenton knocked the ball out and Tyrann Mathieu recovered.

Instead of the Raiders having a chance to cut into a 10-point deficit, the Chiefs drove for a field goal to make it 27-14.

“Maybe a turning point in the game to some degree,” interim coach Rich Bisaccia said. “The bottom came out after that.”

PUNTERS ARE PEOPLE

Punter AJ Cole delivered one of the plays of the first half for the Raiders when he forced a fumble by returner Mike Hughes that Foster Moreau recovered at midfield.

That set up Las Vegas’ only scoring drive of the first half when Carr connected on a 6-yarder to Hunter Renfrow.

INJURED

Chiefs: CB Charvarius Ward left the game with an illness.

Raiders: FB Alec Ingold left the game in the first half with a serious knee injury and didn’t return. … RB Jalen Richard (ribs) left in the second half.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Host Dallas on Sunday.

Raiders: Host Cincinnati on Sunday.