QB showdown in Allegiant Stadium
Patrick Mahomes is heading into Las Vegas for the first time in his career after letting Derek Carr take a win from his home Week 5.
In this greatly anticipated rematch, all eyes will be on the two quarterbacks Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes after their epic duel in Arrowhead earlier this season. The Silver and Black pulled off a momental upset on the arm of Carr, who outdueled the Super Bowl MVP. Carr ended the game with more passing yards, touchdowns, a higher passer rating and a win over Mahomes in their first game. Now, No. 4 is prepared for another intense showdown against Mahomes, who has thrown for more than 2,600 yards with a 25:1 touchdown to interception ratio this year.
"There's a certain level each time a play is called, whether it's a run or pass, I have a job to do," said Derek Carr. "If I'm doing that at the highest level possible, I'm helping my team win.
"Now, there have been times against the Chiefs where it has been shootouts. I've done it against Alex [Smith], with Patrick [Mahomes], and there's been games like that. There's also times where the running game is there, so it just really depends. Whatever we have to do to win, that's what I'm ready to do."
All hands on deck against 'The Cheetah'
When any defensive coordinator has to game plan against the Kansas City Chiefs, they'll likely tell you Tyreek Hill keeps them up at night.
Hill's blazing speed and elite route-running must be addressed this Sunday. Hill has consistently torched defenses this season, leading the league in receiving touchdowns with nine. He also caught three passes for 78 yards in the previous matchup with the Raiders.
Safety trio Johnathan Abram, Erik Harris and Jeff Heath will be given the task of eliminating Hill's big plays down the middle of the field. Heath is currently the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his two-interception performance against the Broncos. He is also the only player to pick off Patrick Mahomes this season.
"Obviously they're a big team in the AFC we're going to have to beat if we want to get to where we [want to] go," Heath said of the Chiefs. "Makes the game even more important."
Morrow's next big challenge
Nicholas Morrow has taken advantage of the snaps he's seen this season and has been a weapon for the Raiders defense. That was most prevalent last Sunday against the Broncos as he stepped up big for Cory Littleton (Reserve/COVID-19).
With the status of Littleton still unknown for Sunday's matchup against the Chiefs, Coach Gruden is preparing to once again call on No. 50 for some key production. Morrow will have the big task of going up against someone who has been a problem for the Raiders for years now in the AFC West, and that is Travis Kelce.
The All-Pro tight end has been having another dominant season for the Chiefs, leading all tight ends in receiving yards (769), touchdowns (6), targets (80) and receptions (58). Kelce went for 108 yards on eight receptions and a touchdown in their matchup earlier this season in Arrowhead.
"Yeah, we need help against Kelce," said Coach Gruden. "We have to do better. Like I said, I think after the game, that was no doubt Nick Morrow's best game. That was a good game for any linebacker. If you go back and watch just Nick Morrow in the game, he made a lot of impact plays. Sideline-to-sideline, effort plays, he did a great job."
"We're going to have to be a lot better than we have been against Kelce in the past. He seems to dominate against us. He's dominated the league. He's a great presence out there, and they know how to use him."