The Raiders were able to keep Chiefs star Pat Mahomes and the potent Kansas City offense off the scoreboard in three of Sunday’s four quarters.
They saw in the other one just what makes him such a special talent.
“He’s a hell of a quarterback,” Raiders cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said after Mahomes threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-10 win at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. “He’s arguably the No. 1 quarterback in the league. He’s got a little Tom Brady to him, a little Drew Brees look, Philip Rivers. A guy who will challenge you and make all the throws. You have to cover more ground when going against him because of how he can scramble. He’s a really talented guy.”
Mahomes, who was dealing with an ankle he injured last week at Jacksonville, didn’t run around much on Sunday and actually battled with some inconsistency that prevented his numbers from being even more eye-popping. Still, the second quarter showed just how dangerous he can be even when he’s not 100 percent.
Mahomes threw for 278 yards and all four of his touchdowns in that quarter alone. The Chiefs had back-to-back scoring drives of 95 and 94 yards.
“He’s unbelievable,” Raiders rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow said. “He did a good job. He had some time to just sit back there, and it’s fun to watch. It’s not fun if you are playing him, but as an offensive fan, it’s fun to watch. Just how composed he is and how good of a player he is.”
It was Renfrow’s first opportunity to see Mahomes play in person, but the rookie will get another chance in Kansas City on Dec. 1.
The Chiefs get a chance to watch him every day.
“We see it all week during practice,” wide receiver Sammy Watkins said. “I think (the games are) the time where people are like, ‘Oh wow,’ but …we just look like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s just Pat being Pat.’”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has seen it for three years and he’s still impressed.
“I never take it for granted,” he said. “Some of these throws, I’ve told you this before, some of these throws he makes, you just say, ‘Alright,’ and buzz right through it. Like it happens every day, it kind of does happen. That’s what makes him unique, The fact that he’s willing to continue to work on his game the way he does is also very important. In this league, if you let off an inch, then you’re going to fall. He stays right on top of that in everything he does.”
The talent in Mahomes’ right arm is obvious, but Raiders coach Jon Gruden believes a key part of his success is the way the Chiefs built an offense around him.
“They do a great job offensively,” he said. “With all the empty backfield sets, shooting five eligible (receivers) in and Mahomes can reset and throw the ball from any platform I’ve ever seen. It’s a combination of a great young quarterback with a scheme that really suits him.”
Mahomes also had four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Raiders in Oakland last season.
“He’s a great player,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “He was the MVP of the league. We knew that coming in.”