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Raiders-Chiefs recap: Merry Christmas win

An instant review of a Week 16 upset win at Arrowhead Stadium

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs
Jakobi Meyers
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders won 20-14 at Arrowhead Stadium and beat the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time in three years behind a brilliant defensive performance in a game that goes a long way to making Antonio Pierce their head coach in 2024.

Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the game:

Records: The Las Vegas Raiders are 7-8. The Kansas City Chiefs are 9-6.

What it means:

The Raiders avoided playoff elimination and spoiled Kansas City’s chance to clinch the AFC West division title for the eighth straight year. The Raiders need to win their final two games of the regular season and hope for help to make the playoffs. The Raiders are 4-3 since Pierce took over for the fired Josh McDaniels. Giving the Raiders their just second win at Arrowhead Stadium in the past 10 years and improving to 10-2 against Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes should help Pierce’s cause with owner Mark Davis. The Raiders were 0-2 on Christmas Day before this game. They lost at the Chiefs in 2004 and lost at Philadelphia in 2017.

Turning point:

The Raiders’ defense scored back-to-back touchdowns in a seven-second span on a fumble return by Bilal Nichols and an interception return by Jack Jones. The Raiders have scored two touchdowns on defense in the past two games. The Raiders’ defense was awesome Monday and made up for a lackluster offense. Still, the Raiders’ offense closed the win with a strong late drive.

Good morning play:

The Raiders have been bad in games that start at 10 a.m. Pacific. They were 0-3 in such games this season before Monday. But they got the win Monday. They have an early game next week as well.

Injury report:

Tackle Jermaine Eluemunor hurt his knee in the fourth quarter.

Another great defensive start:
The Raiders’ defense forced Kansas City on a 3-and-out on the opening drive of the season. That was the ninth time that has happened this season. It leads the NFL. The Chiefs had seven plays for minus-19 yards in the first quarter and, of course, the Raiders had two defensive scores in the second quarter.

What’s next: The Raiders play at the 8-7 Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Kickoff is 10 a.m. PT. The Colts lost 29-10 at the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.