Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has a long record of success coming off bye weeks over the course of his career, but the games are usually a bit more competitive than the one his team played this Sunday.
The Chiefs took an early lead that they built up to a 24-point edge at halftime and the Raiders never got into the fight. The 40-9 win doesn’t wrap up the AFC West for the Chiefs, but it makes it pretty safe for Chiefs fans to start making plans for a home playoff game in January.
The timing of that game will likely be impacted by next week’s game. The Chiefs will be in New England and any hopes of earning a bye likely require the Chiefs to win that game along with their final three contests.
Beating the Patriots figures to be considerably harder than beating the Raider largely because the Patriots rarely beat themselves. The Raiders did a fair amount of that on Sunday with 12 penalties, three turnovers and a missed field goal over the course of the proceedings.
Even when they did something well — a late touchdown pass to Derek Carrier — they found a way to foul it up. The extra point try was blocked and returned for two Chiefs points. All of those miscues meant that outgaining the Chiefs amounted to something to shrug about while perusing the postgame box score.
A win in New England will also require the Chiefs to be crisper offensively. Patrick Mahomes was 15-of-29 for 175 yards and a touchdown and they cobbled together 97 yards on 28 rushing attempts without the injured Damien Williams. Darrel Williams was the lead back in his absence, but he left with a hamstring injury. Rookie Darwin Thompson ran for 44 yards on 11 carries and may be in line for an even bigger role if the other backs remain out next weekend.
The Raiders are now 6-6 and they’ve fallen behind several teams in the hunt for Wild Card spots. They host one of them in Oakland next weekend and a loss to the Titans will leave the Raiders with little in the way of a postseason path.