Week 5 of the NFL season featured a marquee matchup in the AFC West between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders.
This first matchup took place in Kansas City with the Raiders coming out victorious with a 40-32 win over the Chiefs. These two teams don’t like each other at all and have been rivals for a long time, which set the stage for the Week 11 rematch in Las Vegas.
The Tension was High for this Game
There’s no doubt the players of both teams approached this game differently than most other games, but the media certainly added to the drama. With questions regarding a lack of sportsmanship after the Raiders went on the road and beat the Chiefs in Week 5, the media was doing a great job of getting NFL fans ready for an incredible rematch between these teams.
COVID-19 Plays a Role in this Game
While no one is going to feel sorry for an NFL team that has to be flexible with meetings and work their way through the COVID-19 protocols, the Las Vegas Raiders entered the Week 11 game with ten defensive players testing positive for the coronavirus. Thankfully, seven of those players cleared protocols before the game on Sunday, giving the Raiders most of their defensive strength, which they would need.
A Stand-Alone NFL Game Was the Perfect Setting
Intelligently, the NFL scheduled the rematch between the Raiders and Chiefs for Sunday Night. This game was set as a stand-alone game to bring and all eyes from football fans to this spectacle. The only thing missing from this game was a crowd of cheering fans, but this is what we’ve been missing from all sporting events through this year as we get used to a “new normal” that none of us want to continue for very long.
Why Aren’t Fans Allowed in the Las Vegas Stadium?
Other NFL teams have had some fans in the stands all year, but Las Vegas has not. Owner Mark Davis stated earlier in the season that if they can’t fill the stadium, he doesn’t want to have any fans in the stands. In fact, he hasn’t attended a home game this year at all. He is taking the stance that if fans aren’t allowed to enjoy the new stadium and the team, he will be with them and watch his team from home.
Getting the Game Underway
All drama and tensions aside, an NFL game still needed to be played. The game kicked off on Sunday Night Football and was a thrilling ride back and forth for both teams. The Chiefs came in with an 8-1 record, the only blemish being the Week 5 loss to the Raiders. The Raiders came in with the opportunity to climb one step closer to dethroning the Chiefs as the AFC West leaders.
Halftime of an NFL Thriller
Both teams threw their best plays on the field and worked to try and stop the other team from scoring. The halftime score had Las Vegas up by three with a score of 17-14. Patrick Mahomes threw only his second interception of the year with 30 seconds to go in the half. Incidentally, the only other interception he threw was in Week 5 against the Raiders. This pick stopped the Chiefs from scoring before the half to either take the lead or tie going into the break.
Much the Same in the Second Half
The second half of the Raiders and Chiefs NFL game in Week 11 was much the same as the first half. Both teams had difficulty finding the end zone, had some great plays, and had to make some big stops to stay in the game. With the score 28-24 in favor of the Chiefs, the Raiders marched down the field and scored on a touchdown pass to Jason Witten, a sure Hall of Fame Tight End, that put the Raiders up by three with less than two minutes to go in the game.
Too Much Time on the Clock
Anyone who has seen Patrick Mahomes play in the NFL knows that giving him nearly two minutes of time at the end of the game is way too much. Mahomes went 6-7 passing on the last drive and finished with a touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce to put the Chiefs up 35-31. This was the final score of the game, allowing the Chiefs to get the revenge they wanted after the Week 5 loss at home to the Raiders.