After facing off against teams all over the league, the Las Vegas Raiders play their first AFC West matchup of 2020 in Week 5. The Kansas City Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and are undefeated to start the season. A tough schedule for the Raiders only gets tougher.
What was once one of the NFL’s great rivalries has become pretty lopsided. The Raiders have lost four straight games to the Chiefs and 12 of the last 14 games against them. They also haven’t beaten them in Kansas City since 2012. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr got really blunt when talking about the rivalry.
“If we’re being honest, to make it a rivalry, we have to win some games,” Carr said Wednesday. “They’ve had our number for a little bit and it kind of makes us made. … They don’t like us, we don’t like them. There’s not a lot of handshaking between the two. Never has been, never will be, probably. … When you’re playing each other Chiefs-Raiders, it’s not friendly. We gotta make it a rivalry … we gotta win some football games against them.”
Carr is right, the Raiders need to start being more competitive against the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes is 25 years old and the team has him locked up for over a decade. They aren’t going to fall apart anytime soon. That means the Raiders just need to play a perfect game in order to win. It remains to be seen if that could happen.
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Jon Gruden Believes Carr Is Reason Raiders Can Win
Out of every team in the NFL, Carr tends to play his worst football against the Chiefs and especially in Kanas City. He’s 2-10 in games versus the Chiefs and 0-6 at Arrowhead Stadium. Head coach Jon Gruden is well aware of Carr’s struggles but he still believes in the quarterback.
“Derek’s going to hear it until we do it,” Gruden said. “But, he’s the biggest reason I think we have a chance to do it. We have to play better around him.”
Carr has thrown 15 touchdowns to 13 interceptions with a 74.6 passer rating against the Chiefs. Kansas City’s defense has been good this year but it hasn’t always been that way. Carr needs to play better if the Raiders ever hope to win the AFC West.
Gruden Thinks a Win Would Benefit Carr
For whatever reason, Carr just plays worse against the Chiefs than he does any other team. They always put together a good squad so it’s understandable why they’d be a tough matchup but at this point, part of the losing streak has to be mental.
“I think Derek would certainly benefit from a big win like this, but so would we all,” Gruden said.
Even the Los Angeles Chargers were able to beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead last season. Kansas City might have the best team in the NFL but they aren’t unbeatable. They are coming off a short, strange week while the Raiders are business as usual. This could be their best chance yet at beating Mahomes. It would certainly quiet a lot of Carr detractors if he can go into Arrowhead and have a big game.
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