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Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs look to find offensive burst against Raiders

The Raiders weren’t the only AFC West team that couldn’t score in the second half of its Week 11 matchup.

The Chiefs couldn’t, either — and haven’t since Week 7.

“All you can do is go back to your fundamentals,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “Obviously, we had some opportunities in the second half this last game, but we didn’t execute … hopefully with steady progress and steady work, we start putting points on the board.”

The Chiefs (7-3) are perched again atop the AFC West, but their offense is lacking the burst they’re accustomed to with Mahomes as their quarterback. Ranked first among NFL teams last season in scoring (29.2 points per game), Kansas City has plummeted to 14th this season in points per game (22.5) — and last in second-half scoring (5.3).

But coach Andy Reid remains confident the Chiefs can reclaim their inspired first-half play as the Super Bowl champions invade Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

“We can do better with the penalty part, we can do better attacking the ball, and those are things we can work on and will continue to work on, and that’s where we’ll start,” he said. “There’s no reason you can’t do what you did in the first half the second half.”

Penalties have been problematic for the Chiefs, who yield 55.5 yards weekly by way of penalties — ranking 22nd.

But so, too, are drops among their receivers, who have tallied a league-high 23.

Without a reliable receiving option beyond star tight end Travis Kelce (64 receptions, 641 yards, five touchdowns), Mahomes is manufacturing offense with a makeshift receiving corps that includes rookie Rashee Rice, sophomore Skyy Moore and journeymen Justin Watson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Mecole Hardman.

As a result, Mahomes is logging career lows in touchdown percentage (5.0), yards per completion (10.4), yards per game (261.9) and passer rating (93.8).

The 28-year-old, however, is maintaining confidence in his pass catchers.

“I’ve got to be on the same page as those guys and just try not to make the same mistakes again,” he said. “I have trust that we’re going to continue to work and work and get that thing righted as we head into the later part of the season.”

Conversely, the Chiefs are winning with a defense ranked fourth in yards allowed (283.2 per game), third in points allowed (16.4) and second in sacks (3.6).

If their offense can round into form, the Chiefs remain the topflight Super Bowl contender they’ve been with Mahomes since 2018.

“We expect to win, and we expect to be great offensively, defensively and special teams,” said Mahomes, twice the NFL’s MVP. “So as much as everybody expects us to do it, we expect more of ourselves. So, I don’t think it’s anything of expectation or anything like that, we just have a standard that we want to go out and play to.”

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on X.

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