Mahomes said avoiding a season sweep would be part of his motivation on Sunday night when he leads the Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) against the Raiders (6-3) in Las Vegas. The Raiders handed the Chiefs their only defeat in Week 5 at Arrowhead Stadium.
"Any time you lose to anyone, the next time you play them you want to win the football game,'' Mahomes said Wednesday. "We'll be ready to go, I promise you that. ... We don't like losing to teams twice, so we'll have the right mindset.''
The Raiders took a victory lap of sorts after a 40-32 win in Kansas City on Oct. 11. Their team buses circled Arrowhead Stadium after the game before the Raiders headed to Kansas City International Airport. It was the Raiders' first win in the series since 2017 and first in Kansas City since 2012.
The stunt clearly irritated coach Andy Reid earlier this week as the teams began preparation for the rematch. Mahomes didn't seem as interested.
"If you're not ready to go in this game, playing a divisional opponent, playing against a good football team and you know it's going to mean a lot going toward the AFC West standings, then you're not in the right sport,'' Mahomes said. "For me, it's just as important as any other game in the division, no matter if they took a victory lap or not.''
Even without the victory lap, the first game between the teams seemed to matter more to the Raiders. They completed four passes of 40 yards or more and consistently put pressure on Mahomes even though they seldom sent extra pass-rushers after him.
"Clearly not," the QB said when asked whether the Chiefs matched the Raiders' energy in that game. "They came out and won the football game. We'll have to do a better job of that this time and know that we're playing against a good opponent and know that we're going to have to give it our best shot if we're going to come out with a win.''