LAS VEGAS – Patrick Mahomes finally happened again.
Start with the numbers: 406 yards, five TDs, zero picks.
Consider the magic: A 38-yard touchdown pass while heaving it on the run.
Witness the body language: The young icon looked a whole lot like the MVP dynamo who took his team to back-to-back Super Bowls – and nothing like the Mahomes we’ve seen over the past month or so — with his splendid performance in sparking the Kansas City Chiefs to a 41-14 victory against the Raiders on Sunday night.
Maybe it was all a bad dream. Mahomes entered the contest with a career-longest streak of five consecutive games with a passer rating of less than 100. Well, that’s over now. In completing 35-of-50 passes, accented by the paydirt throws, Mahomes’ efficiency rating measured out at 127.6.
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Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates after Sunday’s win over the Raiders.
Even better, in winning their third consecutive game, the Chiefs (6-4) are back in first place in the AFC West, which hasn’t been the case since they shared the honor in Week 1. Las Vegas (5-4) continues to tumble, even with QB Derek Carr arguably playing the best football of his career.
While Mahomes connected often with the usual playmakers – Travis Kelce caught eight passes for 119 yards while Tyreek Hill snagged two TDs inside his seven-catch, 83-yard night – the say-what? exploits belonged to running back Darrel Williams.
Williams grabbed a career-high nine receptions for a career-high 101 receiving yards. He also came down with the 50-50 ball for the 38-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, out-jumping Jonathan Abrams at the goal line. And Williams, who also rushed for 43 yards, let no opportunities go to waste. His nine catches came on nine targets.
It was that kind of night for the Chiefs. Early in the fourth quarter, Andy Reid went for it on fourth and seven. And the fake punt worked with punter Tommy Townsend converting a 16-yard pass to Marcus Kemp, which kept alive the drive that ended with Mahomes’ sizzling TD pass to Williams.
Look out, NFL. Mahomes has served notice that the slump is over.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs regain swagger as they pummel Raiders