The Las Vegas Raiders picked a bad time to 1-3 and are in desperate need of a win. The team just picked up its first win of the season against the Denver Broncos but has a much tougher test this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders were outscored by a combined 66 points in two games against the Chiefs last season.
Patrick Mahomes has owned the Raiders since he came into the NFL. He is 7-1 against the team and has thrown 22 touchdowns with just three interceptions. However, the Raiders now have a new defensive coordinator in Patrick Graham. Last season when Graham was still with the New York Giants, his defense held the Chiefs to just 17 points in the upset win. That Giants team wasn’t nearly as talented as this Raiders team. Graham had a chance to talk about Mahomes ahead of the matchup.
“Oh, no. I’m not enjoying it,” Graham said when asked if he enjoys watching Mahomes as a football fan. “No, I mean it’s a good football play. I have a lot of respect for Patrick just in terms of how he came into the league, how much he’s improved over time. I’ve gone against him I think twice and it’s just amazing the growth that you’ve seen over the years in terms of to be arguably the best player in the league, his ability to make plays in the run game and in the passing game, the decision-making out there, the ability to play under pressure. He’s been in a lot of pressure games for such a young age, and just the ability to run the offense that Coach [Andy] Reid has out there. Again, arguably one of the best coordinators ever and one of the best head coaches ever. His ability to navigate through all that and be at such a young age, it’s pretty astounding.”
Mahomes Talks Raiders Rivalry
The Raiders and Chiefs have one of the most historic rivalries in the history of the NFL. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been much of a rivalry over the past decade. Despite the Chiefs consistently dominating the Raiders, Mahomes still believes that there’s still a strong rivalry between the teams.
“It’s a true rivalry,” Mahomes said Thursday. “It doesn’t matter what the records are. You’re going to go out there and play — [and] it’s going to be a dog fight.”
Mahomes acknowledged that the Raiders haven’t gotten off to the best start but they are still a dangerous team.
“They don’t have the best record,” he said, “But [in] every game, they’ve been in the game at certain points, so we understand it’s going to be a great challenge for us.”
How Raiders Can Pull off Upset
Pulling off a win against the Chiefs in Kansas City is not an easy feat, especially for the Raiders. Quarterback Derek Carr has one career win in Kansas City. There are two ways the Raiders can win this game. They could either get into a shootout and hope that they have the ball last or slow the game down and make it ugly.
The Raiders’ best chance is to make it ugly. They should do their best to run Josh Jacobs early and often. If he can be effective and the Raiders can control the clock, their chances of winning are much higher. In this scenario, the team needs the defense to step up and get a few stops. Chandler Jones has yet to get a sack this season. Now would be a good time for him to put together a breakout performance. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they can’t start off slow against the Chiefs and hope to stay in the game. They have to have a near-perfect performance to win. Time will tell if head coach Josh McDaniels is ready to go toe-to-toe with Andy Reid.