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Raiders-Chiefs: Give Antonio Pierce the job after dominating defensive showing at Arrowhead Stadium

Huge statement at Kansas City

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs
Antonio Pierce
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This will be a day no Las Vegas Raiders’ fan will ever forget.

The Raiders won at Arrowhead Stadium for the second time in 10 years and kept the Kansas City Chiefs from clinching their eighth straight AFC West Division title in the process of the 20-14 win.

What a day of celebration for this franchise.

Let’s look at the key details:

Give Antonio Pierce the gig:

First things first. Antonio Pierce won himself the permanent job in this game. He had to. He followed up a 63-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers by dominating the Chiefs’ offense at Arrowhead Stadium to keep them from clinching the AFC West Division title. What else does Pierce have to do? He’s the guy. That means interim general manager Champ Kelly is very likely the guy as well. The only question is will they keep Bo Hardegree as the offensive coordinator and will defensive coordinator Patrick Graham get a head coaching job himself?

Still alive:

The Raiders are not out of the AFC playoff race yet. They must win out at the 8-7 Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and then beat the 7-8 Denver Broncos at home in Week 18 and then hope. But, hey there is hope. That’s what comes with winning this game.

Not today, Mahomes:

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been a Raider killer. He was 10-1 against the Raiders since he became the Chiefs’ starter in 2017. His one previous blemish against the Silver and Black came at Arrowhead Stadium in 2020. Otherwise, he had been brilliant against the Raiders. He earned the AFC offensive player of the week award against Las Vegas in a 31-17 Week 12 win at Allegiant Stadium. But Mahomes had a tough day Monday as he was sacked four times and was running for his life all game.

Defensive scores:

The Las Vegas defense was smoldering all game long and has bene terrific for much of this season. They were physical and the defensive front took it to the Chiefs’ offensive line. The Raiders had two defensive scores in back-to-back games. This time it was a fumble recovery by defensive tackle Bilal Nichols and then on the next drive (seven seconds later), Jack Jones had a pick six of Mahomes. It was Jones’ second touchdown in as many games. It’s the first time that has happened in team history. The Raiders are only the second team in the NFL this century to do that, joining the 2012 Chicago Bears. Really incredible stuff. Truly brilliant.

O’Connell struggles:

Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell has two more games to show he should compete for the starting job in 2024. His performance Monday did not help his cause. He threw for just 62 yards and didn’t complete a pass after the first quarter. He was 0-for-10 in the final three quarters of the game. He was totally bailed out by the defense. The Raiders may need to trade up to draft a quarterback.

No connection with Adams:

A bad day for O’Connell meant a tough day for Raiders’ star wide receiver Davante Adams. He had just one catch for four yards. That’s brutal. O’Connell missed him several times Monday.

Raiders’ third-year pass-rusher Malcolm Koonce had another brilliant game. He had three sacks and has five in the past two games and has seven on the season. He’s becoming special and giving Maxx Crosby a lot of help.

White comes through:

Raiders’ second-year running back Zamir White started his second game for the injured Josh Jacobs, who has a quad injury and an illness. White finished with 145 yards on 22 carries and he had a big run for a first down in the third quarter and then a long run to seal the win in the fourth quarter. It was a career-high in rushing yardage and the highest yardage total by a Raider this season. He is showing me might be a capable starter if Jacobs doesn’t re-sign with the Raiders. White promised his offensive lineman a pair of Jordan’s if he got 100 yards rushing in this game. Merry Christmas, o-line.

Trick play TD:

The Chiefs are famous for their trick offensive plays and they’ve run a lot against the Raiders in recent years. This week, Pierce said the best way to stop that is punch the Chiefs in the mouth. Well, Kansas City tried a trick play in the second quarter and running back Isiah Pacheco too a direct snap quarterback reserve for a score. The Chiefs later converted a fake punt on fourth and five.

Missed field goal:

The Chiefs made a lot of mistakes in this game and a short missed field goal just before the half was one of them, giving the Raiders a 17-7 lead at the break. It affected how the Chiefs’ approached drives in the second half and was a huge example of the Chiefs’ woes in this upset Raiders’ victory.