Larry Carr asks:
"Can our defense get to Mahomes? That would go a long way in the scheme of the game."
The motive of the defense has to be getting after Patrick Mahomes on Sunday.
In last season's Raiders' win over the Chiefs, Mahomes was sacked three times, completed barely over 50 percent of his passes and threw an interception. A few weeks ago, Mahomes wasn't sacked at all and went for over 400 passing yards and five touchdowns. The results of those two games were very different, and a big part of it has to do with the pressure the defense can get up front. Maxx Crosby– who has a career five quarterback hits and a sack on Mahomes – knows how imperative it is for his unit to turn it up a notch on the former NFL MVP.
"He's one of those guys that never really gives up on a play," Crosby said Wednesday. "He can throw from every angle, he's quick, he's got good speed and he's got great instincts. ... That's kind of what separates him. He can make things happen out of nowhere. He's one of those guys you have to continually pursue, try to keep in the pocket as best as you can. And try to take the ball away.
"He's a special player and I always, always look forward to playing him."
Ken Keefe asks:
"Which team will show up this week? The one that played Dallas, or the other that played Washington?"
Well, they're both the same team under different circumstances.
The Raiders going into Dallas were a more dynamic and healthy team. Derek Carr was aggressive moving the ball down the field and had two completions over 50 yards on Thanksgiving. Against Washington, Carr's longest pass completed was 34 yards, as he made proper checkdowns most of the game.
"As coaches and as players, we have to feel that through the game, but I always have freedom to try and get us completions and try and move the ball," said Carr. "I'm never going out there and just going outside the yard that I have. Now, everyone has a yard, mine is really big, but everyone has a yard, and I don't want to get out of that because then I'm going outside of what my coaches want. So, I'm trying to do everything my coaches want within that, but absolutely have freedom to see stuff and try to take shots, and a lot of insight on plays.
"Oly [Greg Olson] lets me put plays in and he calls them in the games and it's awesome. So, I have some freedom in that which is cool and that Oly is amazing at letting me do because I see it the same way. And if he doesn't see it that way, he's like, 'Yeah, that's not going in.' And it's that simple."
Injuries also play a big role in the difference between the two games. Against Washington the Raiders were missing Darren Waller – who is still day-to-day with a knee injury. Additionally, Kenyan Drake, Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski and Denzel Perryman all suffered injuries last Sunday. While very banged up, the Raiders are trying to avoid going under .500 for the first time this season. Despite whatever the results will be, a lack of effort won't be a problem for the Raiders in Arrowhead Stadium.
Kevin Johnson asks:
"What is the temperature going to be?"
Kevin, when I was in school I didn't take any classes to permit me to be a meteorologist. I wasn't great at math and science, so it wasn't going to work out for me.
But fortunately for you, I have the legendary Weather Channel app on my iPhone. According to them, this Sunday in Kansas City it will be sunny with a high of 56 degrees. While that's not as cold as you would expect from Missouri in December, wind could play a factor. Wind speeds are expected to reach up to 16 mph. Therefore, the kicking game might be a little unpredictable in Arrowhead Stadium if the game comes down to someone's foot.
This season, Daniel Carlson has made the second-most field goals in the league (27) and has won the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has knocked in 18 of his 21 field goals this season and has made 75 percent of his kicks from 40 yards or more this season.
As Interim Head Coach Rich Bisaccia noted, wind can make it hard on everyone, not just the visiting team.
"The thing about the kicking game, in a windy stadium, is it's the same for both teams," he said. "People like to say, 'Well, the home team has an advantage, they play in it all the time.' Well, the wind isn't the same all the time. ... It's going to be a factor. We'll just have to adjust and deal with it as I'm sure they are."
Head inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as the Silver and Black prepare for their Week 14 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.