After eight weeks, the Las Vegas Raiders remain on the mind of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
As only one of two ballclubs to beat an undefeated team, the Raiders week five win still stings the Chiefs.
Raiders stunned the sporting world when they upended the Super Bowl champions and served them their only loss this year.
The Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all came close to serving the Chiefs their first “L”.
However, the Super Bowl champions thrive on tight games since five of 11 wins came less than a touchdown.
Kansas City’s most recent “close-call” came this past Sunday when the Chiefs squeaked by the Denver Broncos at home.
In a post-game interview, NBC Sports Michele Tafoya asked Kelce about the Chiefs struggles against the Broncos.
Kansas City’s All-Pro tight end responded:
“We’ve just got to finish strong. Hats off to the Raiders. They’ve done an unbelievable job the past two games of presenting a challenge on third down and in the red zone. It is what it is. We’ve got to keep fighting.”
As a result, Kelce’s misdirected “shout-out” drew a slew of social media reactions from both Raiders and Broncos fans alike.
— Las Vegas Raiders Fans (@raiderfans) December 7, 2020
Travis Kelce just called the Broncos "the Raiders" in his postgame interview pic.twitter.com/9mmQhIBUyU
— Romi Bean (@Romi_Bean) December 7, 2020
Because of Kelce’s on-air gaffe, Broncos fans lit up social media and described his slip up more disrespectful than Tyreek Hill’s goal-line backflip.
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubIta1) December 7, 2020
Kelce saying "hats off to the Raiders" is way more disrespectful than the backflip TD lmfaoooooooo
— Arif Hasan, solstice-liker ❄️ (@ArifHasanNFL) December 7, 2020
Since he did not immediately catch the mistake, it is more likely than not Kelce just had a lapse in speech.
With that being said, there is no doubt the Silver and Black have taken up residency in the Chiefs minds.
With good reason, too.
Las Vegas: A Thorn in Kansas City’s Side
For example, Kansas City has averaged beating their opponents by more than an 11-point difference in their 11 wins this season.
However, Las Vegas seems to own the Chiefs number because the Raiders have played Kansas City tougher than any other ballclub so far.
Firstly, in their two meetings this year, the Silver and Black have kept the score to within a six-point difference.
Secondly, the only two picks Chiefs All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown were against Las Vegas in weeks five and 11.
Thirdly, Raiders Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr lit up the box score in both games against Kansas City.
The Fresno State alum threw for three touchdowns in both meetings and recorded his first and third highest quarterback ratings through week 13.
Furthermore, the seven-year veteran burned the sky with his second and fifth-most passing yards per game against the Chiefs.
No doubt all these elements factored into playing with the Chiefs minds.
But it was likely an off-field stunt by the team from Sin City that set up shop in Kelce’s mind.
After their week five-win, Las Vegas’ team buses took a mock victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium before departing for the airport.
The eight-point victory was their first win over Kansas City since coach Jon Gruden’s reunion with the Raiders in 2018.
Six weeks later, Chiefs coach Andy Reid visibly voiced his displeasure regarding the Raiders stunt to ESPN:
“They won the game, so they can do anything they want to do. That’s not our style.”