Despite the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs have dominated the Las Vegas Raiders for years, the rivalry has been very contentious. It’s gotten even more contentious now that the Raiders handed the Chiefs their only loss of the season. Not only that, but the silver and black decided to take a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium after the win.
That fact clearly irked Andy Reid and probably gave him plenty of material to motivate his troops for Sunday’s game. However, Jon Gruden doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal.
“Not really,” Gruden said Monday. “I mean, you can find the smart-aleck bus driver in Kansas City who made some snide comments when we got on the bus, maybe that’s why we drove around the stadium – just to tick him off. This is ridiculous. Next question.”
The two teams clearly don’t like each other and things could get chippy during Sunday Night Football. The Raiders aren’t going to be bullied around as they’ve been in the past but they’ve also awoken the beast. If Las Vegas can beat a highly motivated Chiefs team, things are going to get very interesting in the AFC West.
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Chiefs Still Run AFC West
The Raiders may be undefeated in the division but the Chiefs still have a commanding lead in the AFC West. A loss to Kansas City would pretty much guarantee that their only shot at the playoffs would be through the Wild Card.
“3-0 in the division is a big deal,” quarterback Derek Carr said Sunday. “The division still goes through Kansas City, and we get them next week.”
The Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and they might be even better this season. The Raiders obviously have what it takes to beat them but beating them twice in one season is a huge task.
Raiders Banged up Heading Into Rematch
As has been the case most of the season, the Raiders could be missing some key players for the Chiefs matchup. There’s been no word on how Trent Brown is doing but it’s pretty safe to assume he won’t be playing. Kolton Miller has missed two games in a row but his prospects for Sunday look better. Richie Incognito has been out for most of the season. There could be a chance he makes his return against the Chiefs but it doesn’t seem likely.
Fortunately, Gruden seems confident that fullback Alec Ingold will suit up.
“We were easing the boat in the water here a little bit, not asking him to do too much but I thought he responded pretty good,” Gruden said. “I had lunch with him earlier today and he said he feels better today than he did this time last week, so we expect him to be ready for Kansas City.”
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is the most notable player who is injured. He went through workouts on Monday so there’s a solid chance he’ll return. Cory Littleton landed on the COVID-19 list and missed last week’s game. He doesn’t appear to be injured so it’d be a surprise if he can’t play on Sunday.
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