Chiefs visit Las Vegas striving for new streak

Costly penalties and drops from the receiving corps added up to defeat for the Kansas City Chiefs in their Super Bowl LVII rematch with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

At 7-3, the Chiefs nonetheless lead the AFC West by two games and remain in position for home-field advantage as the regular-season stretch run nears.

The coaching staff and quarterback Patrick Mahomes are encouraging the team to stay positive as the Chiefs prepare for Sunday’s visit to the Las Vegas Raiders. That includes a young receivers’ room the organization knew would have growing pains in 2023.

“In the end, we have a lot of trust in these guys and we believe in them. And I think that’s very, very important,” Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy said. “And you hear that and you see that from Pat and it’s something that we just continue to stick together and keep working through.”

One of those Chiefs’ receivers, Mecole Hardman (thumb), has been ruled out along with running back Jerick McKinnon (groin). On the other side, it appears the Raiders won’t have their best defensive player as defensive end Maxx Crosby (knee) – who hasn’t missed a game in his five-year career — is listed as doubtful.

Kansas City was held scoreless in the second half of its 21-17 defeat on Monday and surrendered two quick touchdown drives after halftime. Both covered seven plays and at least 61 yards in under three minutes.

“This is a growing moment for us as a team, overall,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said.

Las Vegas (5-6) enters play in a jumble of contenders for the final two playoff spots after losing 20-13 at Miami last week. Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell passed for a career-best 271 yards and a touchdown but also threw three interceptions.

Sunday begins a stretch of three straight home games for the Raiders, who carry a four-game winning streak at Allegiant Stadium since losing to Pittsburgh in their home opener in Week 3. Las Vegas knows maintaining that trend that could go a long way toward keeping its postseason chances afloat.

“I came here with the intentions of making it tough on teams coming in this building and not making it a friendly place to play,” wide receiver Davante Adams said. “We’re starting to feel that from our fans now, so we just gotta continue to do our part, team-wise, to make sure we apply that pressure and make it a not fun place to come here and play.”

Interim coach Antonio Pierce agrees. He’s seen the raucousness first-hand after guiding the team to home wins against the New York Giants and New York Jets in his first two games at the helm.

“That Black Hole has to be real,” Pierce said. “And when we make that a consensus effort and a mindset, and the fans to the same, it’s a (heck) of a place to play.”

Kansas City leads the all-time series 70-53-2, including victories in five of the six meetings between the rivals since the Raiders relocated to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.

The Chiefs swept the season series in 2022, earning a one-point home victory in Week 5 before securing a 31-13 win at Allegiant Stadium in the regular-season finale.