The Chiefs may not be playing at home in the AFC Championship Game, but they will be getting a week off before taking the field at Arrowhead Stadium in the divisional round.
Patrick Mahomes threw a touchdown on the opening drive of Saturday afternoon’s game in Las Vegas and the Chiefs never looked back in a 31-13 win over the Raiders. The win clinches the top seed in the AFC for the Chiefs, which means they’ll have a bye when the postseason gets underway.
The results of Sunday’s games and the rest of the playoffs will determine if the league will move the AFC title game to a neutral site. League owners approve to do that on Friday as a result of the cancellation of last Monday’s game between the Bills and Bengals.
Mahomes set the Chiefs’ single-season record for passing yards on his first pass of the game, a 67-yarder to Justin Watson, and the touchdown was caught by running back Jerick McKinnon. He now has nine touchdown catches, which is tied for the most by a running back in a single game.
The Chiefs also got rushing touchdowns from Isaiah Pacheco, Ronald Jones, and Kadarius Toney while putting up 168 yards on the ground overall.
On the defensive side, Chris Jones had 2.5 of the Chiefs’ four sacks to give him 15.5 on the season. That ties his single-season best and they’ll be counting on him to remain a disruptive force up front in the postseason.
Jarrett Stidham was on the receiving end of those sacks and the quarterback position will be the center of attention for the Raiders as they head into the offseason. They’ll likely work to trade Derek Carr after benching him for the final two games of the season and they’d likely like to agree to a deal before he’s guaranteed more than $39 million in the days after the Super Bowl.
Running back Josh Jacobs, who will likely be the league’s leading rusher for the season, is also headed for free agency, so Saturday’s loss leaves the Raiders with a lot on their hands as they try to put together a winning team.