Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders: Week 2 Previewby Rachel Coltz September 15, 2019 0 comments
53 years have passed since the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders met at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for the very first time. Quarterback Len Dawson threw three touchdown passes then as the Chiefs defeated the Raiders in a classic matchup of the AFC West.
On Sunday, more than 50 years later, it will be the Chiefs’ final game at the Coliseum, seeing one the best rivalries of the NFL fighting to determine who will be 2-0 at the end of the day. Next year, the Raiders will relocate to Las Vegas for the beginning of a new era. And while under Andy Reid’s direction the Chiefs are 10-2 against Oakland, there’s still a lot of story in this stadium between those two teams, and there’s no doubt this game will be very special.
“I think when you step into that stadium and when you’re out there, you understand the rivalry. The guys that have been here, they get it,” Reid said. “It’s probably as close are you’re going to have to a college atmosphere, as far as rivalries go. Likewise, when the Raiders come here, I think they realize that. I think it’s a neat thing. Our fans feel it, their fans feel it and the players feel it.”
Surprisingly enough, after all the summer drama the Raiders had with Antonio Brown, they actually played against the Denver Broncos during the first game as a good and strong team.
One to fear.
Let’s face it: nobody in Kansas City thought it would have been hard to rob a win in Oakland in Week 2. However, it might not be that easy.
At the middle of Oakland’s new defense is Vontaze Burfict, an ex-Cincinnati Bengal who signed with the Raiders this offseason while reuniting with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who coached Burfict in Cincinnati. Some said Burfict was devilish against Denver and nothing and no one stopped him. For sure, this player is to be watched.
The new Oakland Raiders defense will also feature new faces such as defensive ends Clelin Ferrell, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and veteran Benson Mayowa. The secondary is also re-shaped with new additions as well, with rookie cornerback Trayvon Mullen and former Los Angeles Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner.
Their defense has improved since last year, but playing against the Kansas City offense is something totally different. While the speedy Tyreek Hill will be out for a few weeks due to a clavicle/sternum injury, the Chiefs can still rely on pass-catchers like Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Demarcus Robinson and rookie Mecole Hardman, all of whom should be available this Sunday at Mahomes’s disposal. And we did not even mention running backs LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams, both of whom could do some damage in the middle.
Talking about the rookie Hardman, Coach Beniemy said, “Since we’ve been here, we’ve always had the ‘next man up’ approach. We coach our starters to be starters, but we also coach our guys who are backing up those guys to be starters, too. It’s Hardman’s job now to make sure we don’t lose anything with him being out there. He understands the responsibility and the accountability to his teammates, the people in that room and to Tyreek, as well. Our guys get that, they understand that, and they live on that. So, we’re looking forward to him getting out there and making the most of the opportunity he’s being presented with.”
Kansas City’s revamped defense will try to slow down a very effective and precise Derek Carr on Sunday with key players like Frank Clark, safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive tackle Chris Jones who are still developing to get more chemistry under the reign of new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
The game will be physical and tough like it always is when two big rivals play each other. With that particular game, though, the Kansas City Chiefs have the opportunity to make history and have the record of winning games against the Raiders in Oakland.
The field will not help either with the infield dirt, but the coaches said they prepared for it. Kicker Harrison Butker has been seen training in the Kansas City Royals facility to help him understand how to play and kick with dirt.
“You know what, I like the old elements of football, I’ve been accused of being old school,” said Raiders coach Jon Gruden. “I know a lot of friends like me that like watching a football game on the dirt. I used to like to play in the yard, but it’s going to be pretty neat, Chiefs-Raiders on the dirt one more time.”
Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs had a very good game last week, and the Raiders have something to prove, so the troubles they had with Brown might have helped them after all. Against Denver, they looked hungry, precise, and very determined to show the league they did not need any star wide receiver whatsoever.
Tyrell Williams had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, showing he has the skills to be the No. 1 receiver the Raiders thought he could be when they signed him.
Tight end Darren Waller had seven catches for 70 yards and proved to be a real nightmare for Denver’s defense.
Since Reid took over as coach in Kansas City in 2013, the Chiefs lead the NFL with 26 defensive touchdowns. No team has been more victim of that than the Raiders. Plus, Carr has thrown nine career interceptions against the Chiefs, his most against any opponent. So pet peeve or not, this will be an interesting game to watch on Sunday.
Don’t miss it.