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Three Key Plays: Two defensive touchdowns in 7 seconds help lock up Raiders' victory

For the fifth game this season, the Las Vegas Raiders held their opponent to 14 points or less.

The defensive showing from the Silver and Black is what ultimately landed them in the win column against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the Silver and Black's first win in Arrowhead since Week 5 of the 2020 season. They forced reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes to commit two turnovers, both which were returned for touchdowns. The Chiefs offense was held to -18 yards in the first quarter and Mahomes was sacked four times.

We're diving into three plays that mattered the most in the Raiders' Week 16 victory.

Raiders go up 9-7

Second quarter, 5:00

KC 1st-and-10 at the KC 13

Momentum started shifting in the Raiders' direction after this miscue by the Chiefs offense.

Kansas City received the ball back after a short five-play drive from the Silver and Black. AJ Cole pinned their offense back a bit with a 44-yard punt to the KC 13-yard line. The Chiefs had just scored a touchdown on their previous possession with running back Isiah Pacheco in wildcat formation, faking a handoff to Mahomes, and at the beginning of this drive, it appeared Andy Reid was feeling a little frisky again with the play-calling.

Before the start of the play, Mahomes and Pacheco shifted in the backfield – placing the running back under center. After receiving the snap, he tried handing the ball off to Mahomes as receiver Richie James motioned in the backfield. However, the ball slipped out on the exchange.

A very undervalued part of the play was defensive tackle Adam Butler hitting Mahomes to the ground as he was attempting to recover the fumble. With no Chief in sight, defensive tackle Bilal Nichols recovered the fumble and ran it back to the house. It was the first defensive touchdown of his NFL career.

Nichols finished with three tackles and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown, earning him Nickelodeon's "NVP" trophy given to the most valuable player of a game.

"It's a blessing. It means everything to me," Nichols said while being presented with the NVP. "It wouldn't be possible without my teammates. Every day we come in, work hard, push each other and I owe this all to them. ... All week we preached, 'Get after the ball. Be ballhawks, do anything you can to get the ball. Anything you can to win this game.' We came out here and did that."

Raiders go up 17-7

Second quarter, 4:55

KC 1st-and-10 at the KC 25

It only took seven seconds for the Raiders to score another defensive touchdown and take a commanding two-score lead.

Following a botched PAT attempt after the Nichols' touchdown, the Chiefs received the ball back down two points. Mahomes and Pacheco once again lined up in the backfield in shotgun formation. As the ball was snapped, Mahomes faked a handoff to the running back and turned all his attention to the right side of the field.

The Raiders defense was lined up in Cover 1 zone, with Jack Jones easing back in coverage off receiver Justin Watson. Watson ran a curl route towards the sideline, but Jones read the play to perfection, using his closing speed to jump the route for a 33-yard touchdown return. Brandon Bolden then ran the ball in for a two-point conversion, giving the Raiders a 10-point lead.

It was No. 18's second straight game with a pick-six, and the Raiders' first time scoring multiple defensive touchdowns in back-to-back games in franchise history.

"It's not even just me, I don't want to make this personal – it's the team," Jones said postgame of his recent success. "Coach AP allows everybody to go out there and be themselves and play football and have the love for the game."

Raiders lead 20-14

Fourth quarter, 2:35

LV 2nd-and4 at the LV 31

When the Raiders needed to make a play to win the game, Zamir White stepped up to the plate.

It was a difficult game for the Silver and Black offense. Aidan O'Connell didn't complete a pass after the first quarter, with the Raiders adding a lone field goal in the third quarter. Despite the utter dominance from the defense throughout the game, Mahomes found a way to cut the lead down to six points with a touchdown to Watson.

With Kansas City having two timeouts in their possession, they could've potentially received the ball back with more than enough time left to score if the Raiders couldn't get a first down.

White rushed for six yards on the first play, leading interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree choosing to go back to him the next play, dialing up a power run to the right side. The play was set up for success from the jump, thanks to the blocking scheme. Right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor, tight end Austin Hooper and receiver Jakobi Meyers all held their blocks beautifully as White wiggled his way through for the first down.

But he didn't stop there.

The running back broke a tackle on Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay and flashed into the open field for a 43-yard gain to put the Raiders in their red zone. After a 15-yard from White on the next play, the offense got in victory formation to run out the clock in Kansas City.

White's 145 rushing yards against the Chiefs were the most of any Raider this season and marked his first career game of over 100 rushing yards.

"If we have somebody who can help us out and contribute, it's going to be right in that room – and Zeus [Zamir White] knows that," Pierce said Tuesday morning. "It was really good to see him finish the game the way he finished. Very strong, very violent, very explosive. Everything we've been seeing in practice came to fruition yesterday."

View the best photos from the Raiders' Week 16 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

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