By Mack McClure

Chiefs light up Raiders, 35-3, clinch No. 1 seed, home-field edge for AFC Playoffs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two quick first-quarter scores by the Kansas City Chiefs sent the Oakland Raiders reeling during the biggest playoff-clinching triumph at Arrowhead Stadium since the mid-1990s.

The Chiefs — featuring the NFL's highest-scoring offense with pass-happy quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing for a franchise-record 50 touchdown passes and 5,097 passing yards during the regular season — jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in rolling to a 35-3 triumph before 77,550 fans.

"When you're in the moment, you're really not thinking about it," Mahomes said when asked to put his 50 scoring passes into perspective. "It's a credit to my teammates. The offensive line kept me up all season long, guys were making plays on short passes that were scoring touchdowns.

"It's a combination of all of that with Coach (Andy) Reid calling these great plays."

Kansas City (12-4) clinches home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs as the No. 1 seed for the first time since the 1997 campaign. The Chiefs, who finished 7-1 in home games this season, captured the AFC West Division crown and also have an opening-round bye next week.

"Listen, I mean I'm not going to tell you we didn't want to play here," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. "That's a good thing. On the other hand, I would say just getting back to playing good football.

"We just felt like we had kind of let off the accelerator a little bit there (late in the season) and didn't take care of the opportunities we had. I think the guys wanted to bear down on it."

The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC now goes through Arrowhead.

"It's exciting because we have great fans," Reid said. "There's nothing like playing at Arrowhead. I know they're going to load this place up.

"It was standing-room only (on Sunday), and that fires me up."

Mahomes became the second player in NFL history to record 50 or more touchdowns and 5,000 or more passing yards in a single season. He tied the New England Patriots' Tom Brady for No. 2 on the NFL regular-season list with his 50 touchdown throws.

The record is Indianapolis' Peyton Manning's 55 scoring passes in a single season in 2013. Manning also owns the most yards for a single season at 5,477, also set in 2013.

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill got things started by hauling in a picture-perfect laser from Mahomes for a 67-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown only two minutes, 19 seconds into the game.

After a Pick Six by safety Daniel Sorensen on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown at the 5:44 mark in the first quarter, Kansas City owned a 14-0 lead and the rout was on.

Running back Damien Williams later capped a nine-play, 60-yard Chiefs drive with a 4-yard touchdown plunge to increase the lead to 21-0 at the 9:38 mark in the second quarter.

It was 21-3 at intermission after Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson nailed a 50-yard field goal with 1:09 remaining before halftime. It turned out to be their only points.

An 89-yard touchdown bomb from Mahomes to wideout Demarcus Robinson increased the Chiefs' lead to 28-3 at the 8:33 mark in the third quarter and pushed Mahomes' total to 50.

Robinson slowed near the end of his touchdown and ran backwards the rest of the way to the end zone, drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting.

"The play was designed for Tyreek and they kind of double-covered him, maybe even triple-covered him," Mahomes said. "Demarcus was supposed to run a stop route, but he beat him so well off the line that he just kept running.

"He threw that hand up so I just put it out there and he made a great play and scored on it."

The scoring drive covered 99 yards, and then the Chiefs ripped off a 10-play, 92-yard drive to begin the fourth quarter. It was capped by Hill's 15-yard touchdown scoot on an inside reverse to fix the final margin at 35-3 with 13:25 left.

The Chiefs' defense prevented the Raiders (4-12), who committed four costly turnovers, from penetrating the end zone.

Mahomes completed 14 of 24 passes for 281 yards and one interception. Backup Chad Henne was 2-for-3 for 29 yards, as the Chiefs put up 409 yards of total offense.

Damien Williams rushed for 51 yards in 11 carries to lead the Chiefs' 99 total net yards.

Hill totaled five catches — targeted seven times — for 101 yards. He finished the regular season with a team-leading 1,479 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

Hill's 87 catches were second on the team to tight end Travis Kelce's team-leading 103 receptions. Kelce's 1,336 receiving yards are second only to Hill.

• Chiefs' home playoff history

It is the third time in franchise history that the Chiefs have secured a No. 1 seed. The other seasons were 1995 and 1997, where they suffered first-round home playoff losses in both games.

It is also the first time the Chiefs have home-field advantage under the current format, which was implemented in 2002.

The Chiefs don't have history on their side, as they haven't won a home playoff game since the 1993-94 season, when quarterback Joe Montana led them to a 27-24 overtime win over Pittsburgh at Arrowhead en route to advancing to the AFC championship game, falling to the host Buffalo Bills.

The only other home playoff win in Chiefs history came in 1990-91, when they beat none other than the Raiders, quarterbacked at the time by Todd Marinovich, 10-6.

But they haven't had a dynamic quarterback since Montana, an NFL Hall of Famer who won all four of his Super Bowl appearances with the San Francisco 49ers, until now with Mahomes.

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