An old AFC West rivalry will be renewed this weekend in Kansas City when the 6-5 Raiders travel to Arrowhead stadium to take on the 7-4 Chiefs. The Chiefs lead the all-time series, 67-53-2.
After an embarrassing 34-3 loss to the New York Jets in Week 12, this young team needs to respond in a big way against the Chiefs. On the line is a share of the AFC West division lead, a thought that was unfeasible at the start of the season to many.
Let’s see what players and coaches are saying ahead of the AFC West clash between long time rivals.
Head Coach Jon Gruden on Tyreek Hill being back in the lineup after injuring his hamstring.
“We are worried about all those guys, but we are going to give it everything we have. We have a lot of respect for (Tyreek) Hill, (Sammy) Watkins, all of those receivers, (Travis) Kelce you can keep naming them. The rookie from Georgia is playing extremely well, the other guy hurt us bad. They’re a very talented team.”
Cornerback Trayvon Mullen on the importance of effective communication on the back end with new personnel.
“Well, for us it’s the communication with us. You know, for the DB group. We talked about it, we just have to communicate more. We’ve got to rely more on our technique, fundamentals. Then, when we do that we will be successful on Sunday’s. You just got to continue to have sharp focus on the task and what you have to do, knowing that guys are coming in, helping guys get on top of things fast and quick so on Sunday’s you can be able to play fast, play physical. And I think for the most part that’s what we have to do.”
Head Coach Andy Reid on preparing for the Raiders.
“We know they’re a good football team and we’ve got to make sure we prepare the right way. They present a lot of different issues. Obviously, their offense is a productive offense and they’re playing well and their defense likewise, both. Their defense coordinator and Jon have been doing this a long time and have a lot of experience and have been very good at it. Likewise with their special teams coordinator. So we’ve got to make sure that we prepare ourselves.”
Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy on the self-inflicted wounds on offense.
“One thing we’ve got to do, we got to stop the self-inflicted wounds. We’ve been killing ourselves with penalties. We’re doing a good job of executing, but we’ll go down and have a good drive then we stop ourselves and we put ourselves in a situation where it’s tough to overcome. And give credit to the guys playing across from us as well, because they’re playing good defense. But at the end of the day, we got to play against the opponent and stop playing against ourselves. Let’s clean up the little things, let’s be fundamentally sound, let’s focus. And then we will give ourselves a better opportunity to go out and be who we know we can be.”