An AFC West rivalry will wrap up Week 5 of the NFL season on "Monday Night Football" as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Las Vegas Raiders. This hasn't been too competitive of a rivalry in recent seasons though, as Kansas City has dominated this series lately with 15 wins in the last 18 matchups with Las Vegas. Last year, KC dispatched its rivals 48-9 at home in December and 41-14 on the road in November. The Chiefs have scored 30 or more in each of their last five against the Raiders and could do so once again on Monday.
Head coach Josh McDaniels' debut has been rough, but Las Vegas is no longer winless after beating the Broncos 32-23 last week. They did it with Josh Jacobs toting the football for 144 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Davante Adams was once again really busy with nine receptions for 101 yards total. The defense held the Broncos to under 300 yards of total offense while keeping the Denver ground game from beating them. That defensive effort may not be sustainable, but for one night, the Raiders' defense was fantastic when it had to be.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, put on a show last Sunday night as they went to Tampa and sliced up the Bucs' defense in a 41-31 victory. Patrick Mahomes went 23-of-37 for 249 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Kansas City is going to be hard to beat when they are able to run the ball, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire picked up 92 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Even more impressive was holding the Bucs to just three yards rushing on six carries.
Monday Night Football: Las Vegas (1-3) at Kansas City (3-1)
Three Things to Watch
The Raiders have their bye week next week, so they'll be able to give full effort on the road in Kansas City. It's their third road game of the season so far, as they've alternated road and home contests the first five weeks of the season. Coming off their first win of the season, they'll also be riding some momentum entering this matchup. Meanwhile, Kansas City is on a stretch of high-profile games. As mentioned above, the Chiefs just faced Tampa Bay on "Sunday Night Football," and will host the Bills next week in what figures to be a preview of the AFC Championship Game. This is only the Chiefs' second home game after three of their first four were on the road.
2. Mahomes the Magician
Patrick Mahomes has been fantastic this season with 11 touchdown passes to just two interceptions while racking up 1,106 passing yards. It's a far cry from last year when he started out slowly and people wondered if the league had caught up to him. The Chiefs' signal-caller has absolutely torched the Raiders the past few seasons. In two 2021 games, he threw for almost 700 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. We've also seen him start to use his legs more, which is a key part of what makes him so tough to beat. Mahomes had four rushing yards in the first two games and then 60 over the next two against the Colts and Bucs.
3. Keep it going on the ground
Josh Jacobs had his first 100-yard rushing effort since Week 17 last season when he rumbled for 132 yards against the Chargers. The Raiders are 8-2 in Jacobs' career when he goes over 100 yards on the ground, with the last loss in this situation being in 2019 against these same Chiefs. It's quite simple that Vegas is a better offense when it is able to be balanced and not put a ton of pressure on Derek Carr to succeed. The problem is that Kansas City has clamped down on the run, holding Leonard Fournette and Jonathan Taylor to 68 combined yards rushing the last two weeks. The Raiders can't abandon the run if it's not working early and must show up defensively to keep the run in play and not have to throw it 50 times to keep up.
I'm not stepping in front of the Chiefs right now. It's unreal to see what this offense is doing without Tyreek Hill there to take the top off defenses. This is Mahomes' worst receiving corps in his career, and it doesn't matter. It's nice the Raiders got the win last week because No. 2 isn't coming Monday night. Kansas City wins easily as it continues to dominate this series.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Raiders 17
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.
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