The Kansas City Chiefs will look to remain atop the AFC West by continuing their mastery of the visiting Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night.
The Chiefs (3-1) have dominated the Raiders (1-3), winning the past three meetings by a combined score of 124-54. They’ve won eight of the teams’ past nine meetings and 13 of the last 15 matchups.
The Chiefs’ strong start, which included a 41-31 win at Tampa Bay on Sunday, has been fueled by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He’s completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 1,106 yards and 11 touchdowns, the latter tied for most in the league. His 82.3 quarterback rating is tops in the NFL.
“The NFL has not seen anything like Patrick Mahomes, I promise you that,” Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce said. “He’s the Houdini of our era. The guy just finds ways to make plays — just willing our team into the end zone and willing our team to win. That is our ultimate leader.”
Kelce (26 receptions, 322 yards, 3 TDs) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19 receptions, 224 yards) are Mahomes’ primary passing targets. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has rushed for 208 yards and two scores while averaging 5.1 yards per carry, powers the ground game for an offense that has scored a conference-high 129 points through four games.
“We use the phrase ‘eye candy,'” Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels said. “They want you to look over here and then all of a sudden, the ball is over here and you’re kind of like, ‘What happened?’ What has always impressed me about them is how well they execute those things.”
Meanwhile, the Raiders, who are coming off a 32-23 win over the visiting Denver Broncos, have struggled defensively. They have yielded 100 points and 1,015 passing yards, ranking in the bottom third of the league for both.
Quarterback Derek Carr has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,038 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions.
While he’s developed a strong connection with his former college teammate at Fresno State, Davante Adams (26 receptions, 290 yards, three scores), Las Vegas has overall failed to make plays down the stretch. Las Vegas’ three losses are by a combined 13 points.
By comparison, the Raiders were 7-2 in one-score games last year, a major reason why they made the playoffs before falling to the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round.
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker hasn’t practiced this week while he recovers from injuring his left ankle in Week 1.
If he can’t play, the Chiefs will stick with Matthew Wright, who made both of his field goals and all five of his extra points in the victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday. He also recorded touchbacks on six of his eight kickoffs.
Guard Trey Smith (pectoral) was limited on Thursday and is questionable for Monday.
Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow practiced fully for the first time Thursday since suffering a concussion in Week 2, though eight other Raiders either didn’t practice or were limited in drills.
Tight end Foster Moreau (knee) and safety Roderic Teamer (illness) did not participate at all, while linebacker Jayon Brown (hamstring), offensive tackle Justin Herron (knee), linebacker Denzel Perryman (concussion), tight end Darren Waller (shoulder) and cornerbacks Sam Webb (hamstring) and Rock Ya-Sin (knee) were all limited.