Raiders vs. Chiefs score: Patrick Mahomes explodes for five TDs as Kansas City rolls over Vegas on 'SNF'

The Raiders came into "Sunday Night Football" with a chance to at least slightly bury the defending AFC champion Chiefs in the crowded West. Instead, they got buried on their own turf. Derek Carr and Co. kept pace with their division rivals into the second half a week after being upset by the Giants, but from halfway through the third quarter on, it was all Chiefs, with Patrick Mahomes seemingly reverting to MVP form, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce exploding with him, and Steve Spagnuolo's defense blanking Vegas down the stretch en route to a 41-14 blowout.

The Chiefs have not looked pretty for much of 2021, but on Sunday night, they looked like contenders once again. And now, at 6-4, they are officially atop the AFC West with the playoff picture just starting to take shape.

Here are some takeaways from Sunday night's big Kansas City victory, which dropped Las Vegas to 5-4:

Why the Chiefs won

Don't look now, but their offense might have come back from the dead. Not that they ever lacked talent, but on Sunday night, Mahomes didn't try to hide his acrobatic gifts in the name of controlling the ball. Instead, he finally found some balance and touch, restoring all-night chemistry with Hill and Kelce. He still took or missed a few unnecessary shots, but that's nitpicking considering the ease with which he operated for much of the evening. And how about Darrel Williams? The backup running back made a case to be the indefinite RB1 with his pass-catching performance, particularly on a leaping fourth-quarter score. Defensively, the Chiefs also confirmed they're still trending upward: the trenches made some noise early, and Tyrann Mathieu erased Darren Waller when it mattered. Throw in a perfectly executed fake punt from Tommy Townsend, and it was an all-around show.

Why the Raiders lost

For the second straight week, their offense devolved. Week 9 may have been lackluster in part due to the sudden void left by Henry Ruggs' departure, but at least it saw Waller and Hunter Renfrow step up to collect targets. Against the Chiefs, Renfrow made a nice end-zone TD catch and helped set up a garbage-time scoring drive, but that was about it for Vegas' passing game, save for one deep Bryan Edwards catch. DeSean Jackson's debut ended up costing them more than helping them thanks to the veteran's second-half fumble, while Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake registered almost nothing on the ground. A late Carr arm-punt pick helped keep the ball in K.C.'s hands, and the Raiders defense had no answers for the Chiefs as the game wore on, proving occasionally feisty up front but always a step or two behind in the secondary.

Turning point

The Raiders got the ball down 10 points with just over seven minutes left in the third, and they had reason to believe they could still win the game, having just driven 75 yards to pull within three earlier in the quarter. Carr even hit Edwards for 24 yards to put Vegas near midfield on second. But then, on first, he tried for an even bigger shot and hit Jackson, but the latter proceeded to cough up the ball while attempting to elude the pursuing defenders. Mathieu quickly recovered it, and that was pretty much the nail in the Raiders offense's coffin.

Play of the game

Mahomes was back on his magic for most of the night, but Williams deserves most of the credit for this jump-ball scoring catch that put the Chiefs up 34-14:

What's next

The Chiefs (6-4), who appear to be at least one big step closer to their Super Bowl-caliber selves, will return home for a spectacle of a Week 11 matchup with the Cowboys (7-2), who just rolled all over the Falcons. The Raiders (5-4), meanwhile, will look to snap a two-game skid by staying at home and playing host to the Bengals (5-4), who will be coming off their bye week.

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Season Leaders

passing
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P. Mahomes 3200 YD, 25 TDS, 11 INTS
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P. Mahomes 3200 YD, 25 TDS, 11 INTS
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D. Carr 3414 YD, 17 TDS, 9 INTS
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D. Carr 3414 YD, 17 TDS, 9 INTS
rushing
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C. Edwards-Helaire 77 ATT, 367 YD, 1 TD
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C. Edwards-Helaire 77 ATT, 367 YD, 1 TD
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J. Jacobs 111 ATT, 420 YD, 6 TDS
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J. Jacobs 111 ATT, 420 YD, 6 TDS
receiving
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T. Hill 84 REC, 932 YD, 8 TDS
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T. Hill 84 REC, 932 YD, 8 TDS
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H. Renfrow 64 REC, 658 YD, 4 TDS
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H. Renfrow 64 REC, 658 YD, 4 TDS
Live updates
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@Chiefs via Twitter
November 15, 2021, 3:32 PM
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@Raiders via Twitter
November 15, 2021, 4:42 AM
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That'll do it, folks. Kansas City improves to 6-4 and takes over first place in the AFC West. All three other AFC West teams lost today, so they are each still sitting on five wins. 

November 15, 2021, 4:20 AM
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Hey it's a Darren Waller sighting! Too bad the touchdown doesn't count.

November 15, 2021, 4:14 AM
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@Chiefs via Twitter
November 15, 2021, 4:10 AM
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Raiders keeping the starters in the game here seems pretty unwise. They're not erasing a 27-point deficit in 7 minutes. Much more bad can keep here than good.

November 15, 2021, 4:09 AM
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The Raiders' decision to punt the ball back to the Chiefs on fourth-and-5 while down by 20 points essentially ended the game to begin with, but it's definitely over now. The Chiefs are going to take over first place in the AFC West.

November 15, 2021, 4:04 AM
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I think the Chiefs offense is back.

November 15, 2021, 4:02 AM
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@Chiefs via Twitter
November 15, 2021, 4:01 AM
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Granted, Mahomes probably should have been picked on each of those last two downfield passes. But these types of scoring runs are what we're used to seeing from this team over the last few years.

November 15, 2021, 3:50 AM
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Well now THIS looks like the Chiefs.

November 15, 2021, 3:46 AM
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@Chiefs via Twitter
November 15, 2021, 3:46 AM
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@Chiefs via Twitter
November 15, 2021, 3:45 AM
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@Chiefs via Twitter
November 15, 2021, 3:44 AM
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FAKE PUNT!

November 15, 2021, 3:44 AM
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Oh boy. You don't see Mahomes miss that throw very often. Had Tyreek behind the defense and JUST overshot it.

November 15, 2021, 3:43 AM
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