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Raiders-Chiefs: 7 things we learned from 30-29 Las Vegas loss

Close doesn’t count as a win.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders saw another big first-half lead turn into a defeat in a wild 30-29 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night:

Digging a big hole:

The Raiders are 1-4 and now trail the 4-1 Chiefs by three games in the AFC West. Las Vegas may have to concentrate on getting a wild card playoff berth. The season isn’t over because the AFC is wild and there are lot of flawed teams. Also, the Raiders had the fourth easiest remaining schedule going into Week 4. The post-bye slate is very workable. So, the Raiders can’t get back into it. But the current reality is, the Raiders are going into the bye on pace for the No. 2 overall draft pick. They are in games, but they’re not finishing. It’s the opposite of what happened down the stretch last season. It’s been a rocky start to the Josh McDaniels era, who is now 12-21 as an NFL head coach. Blowing first-half leads of 20-17 and now 17=-0 is hanging over McDaniels’ head.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Josh Jacobs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Going for two doesn’t work:

There were so many pivotal moments in this game and there would blown official’s calls on both sides. But what will be most remembered is McDaniels going for two with more than four minutes left. Josh Jacobs was stopped short of the goal line and there were no more point scored in the game. McDaniels and Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr defended the call. It goes down to another pivotal mistake to cost Las Vegas in a close game.

Travis Kelce took over:

Kansas City star tight end Travis Kelce had four touchdown catches, three in the second half as the Chiefs came all the way back from being down 17-0. It was his first four-touchdown catch game in what will likely be a Pro Football Hall of Fame career. Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Kelce have long been Raiders’ slayers and they were at it again Monday night.

Adams has a strange night:

The Raiders set the tone for an aggressive night when quarterback Derek Carr hit Davante Adams for a 58-yard touchdown pass on fourth and one in the first quarter. It was a gutsy call by Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels and it paid off. It was also a fancy way for Carr to celebrate his 200th NFL touchdown pass.

Later in the quarter, Adams grew to huge pass interference plays. With Darren Waller out with a hamstring injury, that was huge, Adams was living right Monday night. He was lucky to get away with a possible fumble in the second quarter, It was that type of night, though. Carr was sacked late in the first half and Chris Jones was called for a roughing the passer. It all went the Raiders’ way. Then, the two hooked up for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter after Adams was slowed for nearly half the game, The game ended with Adams and Hunter Renfrow colliding on a fourth-and-one play as Carr’s pass fell incomplete. After the game, Adams had an ugly incident with a cameraman. It was a tough way to end a big night for him.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Maxx Crosby
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Maxx is a beast:

Raiders’ star pass-rusher showed the Monday Night Football audience that he is an elite, top-tier defensive player. He terrorized the Chiefs’ offensive line and sacked Mahomes twice in the first half. Crosby now has six sacks on the season and he had two sacks in the past two games. It’s the first time he’s done that. He leads the NFL with 11 tackles for loss. According to the Associated Press, that is the most through five games since Denver’s Von Miller had 12 in 2012. Crosby is a factor in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year chase. Now, it’s time for him to get back to Las Vegas for the birth of his first child, which can happen at any moment.

Jacobs is balling out:

Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs is playing out of his mind. He had a career high rushing yards for the second week in a row. He had 154 yards and has 490 yards on the season and is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He is going to be pretty popular in free agency.

Another offensive line look:

For the fifth time in as many games, the Raiders had a new starting offensive line. It was Kolton Miller at left tackle, rookie Dylan Parham at left guard, Andre James at center, Alex Bars at right guard and Jermaine Eluemunor at right tackle. Bars and Parham were flipped in Week 4. Rookie Thayer Munford started the game in a jumbo tight end role. It was the Raiders’ 10th offensive line look of the season. Eluemunor was called for two penalties in the first quarter.