LAS VEGAS -- To Patrick Mahomes, the important offensive number for the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's game wasn't necessarily their point total of 31, which matched their second highest output of the season.
Mahomes was more happy about the numbers zero (as in Chiefs turnovers) and one (as in their dropped passes). The Chiefs have failed most of the year to match their offensive might from previous seasons, but Mahomes said he had the sense all along that if the Chiefs cleaned up their game as they did on Sunday, good things would automatically follow.
"We've shown that we can move the ball, but [turnovers] and drops and me not getting to the right guy at the right time [have limited the Chiefs offensively],'' Mahomes said after a 31-17 win over the Las Vegas Raiders moved his team to 8-3.
"Little things like that, they've kind of stalled some of our drives. We kind of got back to the fundamentals this week and we kept pressing and pushing. We obviously took a step in the positive direction now. Let's just continue to do that throughout the rest of the season.''
Mahomes won his 15th career game after the Chiefs have trailed by 10 or more points. His winning percentage of 58 in such games is the best in NFL history.
But the Chiefs hadn't won after a double-digit deficit this season. They've tended to lose after falling behind by any significant margin, so the Chiefs seemed to already be in trouble when they went down 14-0 early in the second quarter.
That was before Mahomes led the Chiefs on a 71-yard touchdown drive that may have been one of their most important of the season. The Chiefs up until that point had run seven plays and gained 13 yards.
"It was big for us to get that first touchdown drive and it kind of got the momentum back in our favor,'' Mahomes said. "We needed to get that drive, especially after having seven plays in the first quarter.''
The Chiefs went on to score touchdowns on three of the next four possessions to take control of the game. Two of those touchdowns came in the second half, the Chiefs' first points of any kind in the final two quarters in their last four games.
Rookie Rashee Rice had eight catches for 107 yards. He is the first Chiefs wide receiver to go over 100 yards in a regular season game since Week 7 of last year. That streak of 20 games was the longest active one in the NFL.
Rice's biggest play was a 39-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter that helped break open what at the time was a close game. Rice made the reception at the 35 and the rest of the play was him running after the catch and breaking an attempted tackle near the end zone.
It was the breakthrough game the Chiefs had been waiting for from any of their wide receivers, and it came from the second-round draft pick.
"I think we've only scratched the surface, honestly,'' Mahomes said of Rice. "I think you see us hitting him kind of around the line of scrimmage, [but] I think he can do some of the vertical threat stuff and he has speed and he has bursts.
"He has a chance to be a great receiver in this league and we're going to continue to push him to be that receiver every single week.''