There has never been any love lost between the Raiders and Chiefs who last season were fighting for the division title right up to the final game of the season. But it was the Chiefs who got the better of it due to having swept the Raiders to represent half of their losses last season.
Both teams finished 12-4, which meant the Chiefs won the tiebreaker. The result was the Chiefs got the two seed and a first round bye in the playoffs, while the Raiders dropped to the five seed and headed to Houston for the wild card game.
Neither team would win their playoff game and with the win totals now reset to 0-0, its a clean slate which means hope springs eternal and confidence is up again.
This weekend, Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters — an Oakland native -- attended Marshawn Lynch’s family first football camp at Raiders headquarters in Alameda. He and Lynch are good friends off the field, but now Lynch plays football for a bitter rival.
“It’s going to feel good for him,” Peters told Bay Area News Group of Lynch’s homecoming. “It’s going to be a good feeling, It’s going to be a good feeling for Oakland. But when we come here, we’re going to beat the dog shit out of him.”
I’m sure Lynch and the Raiders would expect nothing less than the best Peters and the Chiefs have to offer.
It’s the Raiders offense that is far superior to the Chiefs. But you wouldn’t have known it with the way the Raiders looked against the Chiefs last season. Peters had one of his six interceptions in their first meeting — also one of Derek Carr’s six on the season — and Carr had the worst game of his career in their second meeting. That second game was a major factor in the Raiders losing the division and Carr dropping out of the MVP discussion.
On the other side of things, the Raiders’ defense was seriously lacking. Despite picking up former Chiefs corner Sean Smith in the offseason, the Raiders’ secondary consistently gave up explosive plays and finished the season ranked 26th in yards allowed.
The top priority was to fix the issues in the secondary. So the team let go of DB coach Marcus Robertson, hired former Chargers DC John Pagano, and spent their top two draft picks on cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Obi Melifonwu.
It was Melifonwu who appeared on NFL Network Monday, said definitively “I know we can stop them.”
He noted “With all the guys that we have this year, with everybody that’s coming back and with everybody that we’ve added on our coaching staff and everybody that’s been really for the cause...”
Of the Raiders’ four losses, two were to the Chiefs, and one was the season finale against the Broncos with Derek Carr out with a broken ankle. That means the only other real loss the Raiders had besides the Chiefs was the Super Bowl bound Atlanta Falcons.
These meetings were already marked on the calendar for both teams. They already meant more than most other games. That’s cranked up even higher now.