Raiders’ Darren Waller Shares Troubling Reality for Chiefs This Season

darren waller

Getty Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller stiff-arming Tyrann Mathieu.

The Kansas City Chiefs have owned the AFC West for six straight seasons but their reign could be nearing its end. Every other team in the division added star players while the Chiefs gave up two in Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu. Much of the media coverage has surrounded the loss of Hill. He’s one of the most dynamic players in the NFL and was a huge part of the Chiefs’ success.

However, the loss of Mathieu might be a bigger deal than people realize. He was the heart of the defense and was named an All-Pro twice during his time. Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller has battled Mathieu many times in his career and he has no idea how the Chiefs are going to replace his impact.

“I feel like it’s just the dog nature,” Waller said on Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast. “That dude is like a lion out there, you know? There’s not many people who can replicate that level of raising everybody’s intensity level and energy level and just a collective confidence. So I wonder who’s going to be that for them now, because there’s few people — if any — who can do it the way that he does. And I feel like he gave them identity.

“Especially when, I feel like they struggled during the season, but then when it came time during the playoffs, they were just able to flip a switch almost. And I knew who had to have been leading them on the front lines of that mindset and that mental shift. So, we’ll see how that works for them.”

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Is Losing Mathieu That Big of a Deal?

The Chiefs quickly moved on from Mathieu in favor of Justin Reid in free agency. Reid is a very good safety who is five years younger than Mathieu so it makes sense on a surface level. That said, Reid definitely can’t replace the leadership and fire that Mathieu brought to the team.

He has as much swagger and passion as any player in the NFL. That’s not easy to replace. It may end up being the right move in hindsight but it could also deflate a Chiefs defense that has been widely inconsistent over the past few years.

Are Chiefs Still AFC West Favorites?

Until a team can prove otherwise, the Chiefs will likely continue to be the favorites in the AFC West. They still have quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid. As long as those two remain with the organization, they’re going to be tough to beat.

However, there’s a good chance they may have been surpassed by the other teams in the AFC West. The Raiders added Davante Adams and Chandler Jones while also hiring Josh McDaniels as head coach. The Los Angeles Chargers added Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson. The Denver Broncos traded for quarterback Russell Wilson. All three teams should make leaps in 2022 while the Chiefs look worse on paper.

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Eric Ramsey
Eric Ramsey
6 months ago

Yeah, this is the same moron who recently rated himself as the best TE in the game. He’s not even the 2nd best TE in his own division. I wouldn’t put ANY faith in what this dimwit says. I’ve seen rocks that have a higher IQ than Waller (or any Raiders fan).

Joshua Pitts
Joshua Pitts
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Ramsey

Not even the 2nd best in his division! Ya now who’s the moron lol… I guess every coach, player and analyst are wrong in considering him one of the best in the game, maybe 2nd overall and the only arguments could be Kittle, or Mark Andrew’s. I really don’t even know why I’m responding to this nonsense, but as a die hard fan I feel I have to. Raider Nation is the most feared and loyal fan base in the NFL and maybe all of sports PERIOD! And you, smarter… LMFAO doubt it. But I do know one thing for sure I’d whip ur ass and Id take my fans to have my back over the competition…

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