Alright, it’s Friday, and we’re back with another series of five burning questions with the enemy. This time, we’re back talking with our friends at Arrowhead Pride about this weekend’s Las Vegas Raiders vs Kansas City Chiefs game.
We all know what happened last time around.
We also all know the history of Andy Reid after a bye week, an extra week of prep, etc.
And here, we, go.
S&BP: What does a bye week usually mean for head coach Andy Reid? Do his teams, specifically in KC, come out swinging for the fences after a week off, or are they a fine-tuned machine that has ironed out any discrepancies from their season?
AP: In short yes, the Chiefs after the bye have being great under Andy Reid, but we’re kind of in uncharted territory here. Not only are the Raiders facing the GOAT of playing after the bye, they’re playing a clearly ticked off GOAT. I can’t ever remember seeing “Big Red” this annoyed before a game. Losing the first meet up clearly frustrated him, as did the Raiders’ post-game activities. It has almost felt like a WWE pre-match build up this week, albeit a very tame one.
S&BP: We all saw the drama with PFF saying Tom Brady was having a better year than Patrick Mahomes, and if you didn’t, Google it. That being said, was there an equal uproar to readers and local fans as there was on the national stage, or were they indifferent to the whole ‘analytics’ community?
AP: I can’t imagine that PFF are doing too well in the Kansas City area right now. If there’s one thing you don’t want to do, then it’s say something bad or downplay Patrick Mahomes - because Chiefs Twitter WILL come after you, especially when you’re blatantly wrong. I honestly believe I could spend an entire day with the PFF crew (as nice as they all seem), and they would never be able to convince me that Tom Brady is playing better or as good as Patrick Mahomes in 2020. If they’re going to die on that hill, then they need to change their grading system because it’s clearly not working.
S&BP: What is the general objective analysis of Mahomes season so far, seeing from the generic box score that he’s thrown 25 TDs compared to just 1 INT?
AP: Up until three weeks ago he’s been very good when he’s needed to be and solid when he hasn’t been leaned on. The last three weeks on the other hand, have been spectacular. If there’s one thing we know about Mahomes is that he hears and sees everything – and he keeps all of his receipts. We saw it in Chicago last year and in Baltimore this year. If he gets an opportunity to prove people wrong, he will take it. That’s what I think we’re seeing lately. The good to very-good season wasn’t enough from some analysts, so they totally disregarded him as an MVP candidate. He’s seen this and decided to go on a tear.
I can’t imagine what the bus ride has done for his motivation.
S&BP: How do you, if you are Jon Gruden, stop this KC offensive attack and sweep the season series?
AP: Although the Raiders won the first game, it’s hard to say that they stopped the Chiefs offense, more specifically Patrick Mahomes. Having watched the game back a couple of times, I soon realized that the Chiefs were just a couple of offensive plays away from stealing the win from Vegas. Yes, the Raiders got a ton of pressure with four-man rushes but Mahomes still managed to throw for 340 and a pair of touchdowns. I can imagine Gruden will try and adopt a similar approach on Sunday. I fear for the Raiders defense if he does, especially without Clelin Ferrell in the line up. The truth of the matter is that in his career, no one has been able to stop Mahomes for an entire game. Eventually he figures everything out. The fortunate thing for Kansas City is that Mahomes at 100% for just half a game is more than enough.
S&BP: Gotta have it, give me the game prediction, who wins, final score, etc.
AP: Offensively, I think the Raiders are going to try the opposite to what they did in Arrowhead. If they’re being honest with themselves, the Raiders coaching staff know the Chiefs secondary won’t play as badly as they did in Arrowhead. Derek Carr definitely caught the Chiefs defense off guard. Will the Chiefs be as unprepared this time? Probably not. So I expect to see a heavy dosage of Josh Jacobs on Sunday and an attempt at ball control. This will require Gruden to be aggressive on fourth downs once again but I can’t see that being a problem for him.
The issue for Vegas is that they have poked the bear, no doubt. Since losing to Vegas, the Chiefs have averaged 37 points a game – I expect them to top that figure on Sunday. If they are scoring for fun, then the Raiders will have to abandon Plan A and attempt to emulate what they did in Arrowhead. Something that I think will end badly for Vegas.
Chiefs 51 Raiders 24
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