The Raiders have a lot to be proud of despite being defeated by the Chiefs Sunday night. The Silver and Black had the defending champions on the ropes with less than two minutes to go in the game.
But despite falling short, and even with Derek Carr's "almost flawless" performance, Coach Gruden said on Monday that he sees room for improvement moving forward — primarily with the defense and the way he coached Sunday's game.
"We didn't play well enough on defense," said Coach Gruden. "We can make a lot of excuses and legitimate excuses for that: We're missing some key players. We have a young secondary. We have guys that didn't practice. We're playing the world champions coming off a Bye Week. We can make all kind of excuses.
"We, I say we, me included, gave up 36 first downs, and we didn't get it done. We have to play a lot better because Atlanta, the team we're about to play, is capable of doing the same thing. They're very talented."
The matchup this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons will pit Jon Gruden against his former assistant coach and good friend Raheem Morris. Morris became interim head coach for the Falcons following the firing of Dan Quinn after a 0-5 start. The Falcons have posted a 3-1 record since Morris took the reins.
Morris was a defensive backs coach under Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay for six seasons. Going up against the coach he highly respects is what Gruden is the most excited for going into Atlanta.
"Raheem Morris, a guy that I have a lot of history with, I know he's going to have his team ready to play. He wants that head coaching job and he might just darn sure deserve it the way I know him and the way this team is playing. They're flying around, they have a lot of talent. This team was recently in the Super Bowl. They had a tough start — they lost some games in head-scratching fashion — but they're still playing hard and they're still a formidable opponent."
"Raheem is a heck of a coach. He's a great guy and he knows the game inside-out. I pull for him every week except this week. I can't wait to see him. I can't wait to compete against him, and like I said a minute ago, I know he's going to have those guys ready."
View the best photos from the Raiders' Week 11 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium.