Key Matchups: Get your popcorn ready for Waller vs. Kelce

The Raiders defense vs. Patrick Mahomes

You know how they say there's more than one way to skin a cat? Well, the Raiders are going to need to find every possible way in the book to skin the cat known as Patrick Mahomes.

The Raiders defense will have a tough task of facing 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, the greatest test to the Raiders this season simply due to the fact that he has no true obvious weaknesses.

Mahomes is a pinpoint accurate passer, can make plays with his feet, has arm strength for days, makes proper reads most of the time and has talented receivers. He really has it all.

The whole defense from the front seven to the secondary are going to have to step up and make it a hard day for Mahomes. The Raiders defensive line are going to have to win at the line of scrimmage and not give Mahomes time to make spectacular passes.

The secondary must also efficiently cover and throw different disguises and coverages at Mahomes to confuse him. This will be extremely imperative as Mahomes can tear a defense apart whether they are in zone or man coverage.

Coach Gruden knows it will be extremely difficult to contain Mahomes this Sunday.

"Just pick the film up. He does it all," said Gruden. "He's a great scrambler. He's a great passer. He's a great competitor. He's a great quarterback. He's a world champion. He has a great résumé, a great future and a great contract to prove it."

Facing Tyrann Mathieu

If the Raiders can get Henry Ruggs III back on the field Sunday, the Chiefs might be in trouble.

The rookie has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury and practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday. Derek Carr knows that getting Ruggs back on the field would be huge.

"I'm excited, man, we're going to need him," said Derek Carr. We're going to need everyone going into Arrowhead. It's not easy. It's tough. Tough environment, tough team. Henry has shown some great signs of some great attributes, some things that you love to see of his work ethic, route running ability. I wish we would have got to see more of it the past few games but because he was hurt, we didn't see it, but his toughness, man. The kid is tough."

Ruggs will be facing a huge task is he comes back though, as the Chiefs have several guys in their secondary who can limit has playmaking abilities. Their secondary is headlined by strong safety Tyrann Mathieu, who was first-team All-Pro last season.

Mathieu's playmaking ability helped the Chiefs elevate their defense as a whole and defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV last season.

"The defensive backs, obviously we know about Tyrann [Mathieu], what kind of player he is, and their secondary. They're great players. They have a great scheme. You can tell they plan on scoring a lot of points with the way they play defense."

Darren Waller vs. Travis Kelce

Many players, coaches and media personnel would regard Travis Kelce as being the best tight end in the league right now. This is Waller's chance to begin to change that narrative.

Both tight ends have built tremendous chemistry with their quarterbacks which has resulted in great success. Kelce is coming off a 1229-yard season with five touchdowns, and Waller had 1145 yards and three touchdowns last season.

So far this 2020 season Waller and Kelce are ranked No. 1 and 2 among tight ends this season in receptions, targets and yards. Statistically speaking, these are the best two tight ends in the league right now.

Whether either man is taking this battle for tight end supremacy seriously, it's fun to watch them battle for it. Waller has needed little time to season this season to position himself as the No. 1 receiver for the Silver and Black. Kelce has proven for years now that he's a dominant tight end in this league

If you ask me, Waller vs. Kelce this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium will be the modern day 'The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin' of tight end showdowns.

The Raiders hit the practice field at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center to prepare for their Week 5 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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