KC 35 Las Vegas 31

Never count Pat out.

Jim Rome
November 23, 2020 - 9:57 am
Patrick Mahomes

USA Today

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Last night’s KC-LV game lived up to the hype. And then some. Everything about that game was good, even the audible.

NFL games without the fans are different and one of the differences is that you can hear everything. And last night, it felt like Derek Carr was in my living room calling out these audible and shouting out to NBA players.

James Harden. Chris Mullin. By the way, how about some love for my guy Tom Chambers? And there were more, from both teams. There was a purple walrus, a Pistol Pete, and a Sammy Davis.

The other thing I could go on about is the fact that the Raiders took a victory lap around Arrowhead after beating KC earlier this season. The Raiders are nice: I’d even say really nice…, but that is some high school level stuff. Come on, now.

As I said on the NFL Today yesterday – the NFL season is 17 weeks long, why is a head coach as smart and experienced as Jon Gruden taking his team on an actual, literal, not metaphorical, VICTORY LAP, in Week 5?

Did you have a parade down the Strip when you got home as well?

I know there two teams do not like each other and that Arrowhead has been a house of horrors for the Raiders, but taking a victory lap in a nearly empty parking lot seems like such a rookie move.

There are a billion reasons not to take a victory lap in Week 5, but one of the biggest reasons was wearing a white jersey with the number 15 on it last night.

Before I get to him and what he did, particularly on that final drive, let’s make something else clear. The Raiders are good. They are legit. They’re probably not winning the division, but I would not want to face them in the playoffs.

They hit hard, on both sides of the ball. Josh Jacobs runs with some nastiness and that defense has a number of guys who look they’re flying around rock two by fours. 

And then there’s Derek Carr. He looked good. Damn good. There are a lot of people who owe him an apology for saying that he was done or the Raiders should find someone else at quarterback.

This is a guy who was an MVP candidate a few years back and he looks even better than that now. He was doing some Patrick Mahomes stuff last night, like on this play.

And there was his touchdown at the end of the first quarter. Where you could not put that pass in a better spot. And the fact that he had the free play after drawing KC offside that was some next level stuff. And the touchdown pass to give Las Vegas the lead with 1:43 to go in the fourth quarter was a perfect end to the drive.

And he was doing that with a busted up offensive line and a defense that had swabbed their way onto the COVID list.

Derek Carr went toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes last night. The problem was, he was going toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes last night. Because if you do that against just about any other quarterback in the NFL, you’re, to quote Jameis Winston: eating a W.  And knowing them, looking to take another lap around the stadium. 

But giving Patrick Mahomes the ball with that much time on the clock is just asking for trouble. And this was on a night where Mahomes was good, but not his Mahomes-iest.

He saved all that up for the final drive, though. Seven plays, all passes, six completions. You could not make a game-winning drive look any easier than Mahomes just did. He looked like he was going against air. That didn’t feel like an actual NFL game with actual stakes, that felt like guys in t-shirts and shorts getting some reps in the summer.

But that was real. And it was against an actual defense. And actual defense who did not have a chance. Completion, incompletion, completion, completion, completion. That got them into range for a long field goal.

Then one more completion into range for a much easier field goal. But why stop there? Why not just win the damn thing in regulation.

Touchdown. That final drive was so crisp, so sharp, and so, so easy. And that is a warning shot to everyone else around the league. This is what that guy can do in that situation. If you didn’t already know, now you know.

As Andy Reid said: “I’ve got Pat Mahomes. You give me a minute and a half and I’m pretty good right there. We can roll. I’d take him over everybody and I’m lucky to have him.”

Travis Kelce put it another way: “Sure enough, ’15’ is always ready for the moment.” That is the truth. He IS always ready for the moment.

It was so easy and effortless, that Kelce was giving Andy Reid a shoulder massage after the touchdown. That was awesome. That should be a new tradition. Score a touchdown, START RUBBING ON YOUR HEAD COACH. I’m not sure what’s more relaxing in the final seconds of a one-score game with a rival: having Patrick Mahomes or getting a massage from your star tight end. 

Tie for first.

And that is why you don’t take a victory lap in Week 5. Because the other team can show up in your house later on and get a victory massage.