The much-anticipated rematch between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs is almost here. The days leading up to the game have been contentious as the Chiefs clearly aren’t happy about the Raiders’ victory lap earlier in the season. Despite the fact that the teams obviously don’t like each other, the players do have respect.
Henry Ruggs had a career day against the Chiefs last time out and will look to replicate that success. Kansas City defensive back Tyrann Mathieu knows that Ruggs’ speed makes him a serious threat.
“He’s one of those guys, if he’s even, he’s leavin’,” Mathieu said Thursday, via Jerry McDonald.
Ruggs only had two catches against the Chiefs but took those catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. That’s the kind of production the Radiers were expecting from him when they drafted him. He hasn’t replicated that success since the Chiefs game but he’s due for a bounceback against the rival.
Mathieu Praises Derek Carr for Performance in First Matchup
Throughout the years, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has played many of his worst games against the Chiefs in Kansas City. He surprised many when he played an excellent game in Arrowhead earlier in the season. Even Mathieu couldn’t deny that Carr was strong in that game.
”Well, I thought he played a great game,” Mathieu said of Carr, via ChiefsWire. “I thought he got to the line of scrimmage, he was patient, he was calm, got his team in the right place, and he was able to really be effective. I think even watching film of him really the last couple weeks, that’s what we’re really going to have to focus on, is how can we disrupt him in the pocket, how can we get him to move his feet, how can our big guys up front really impact the game. And then on the back end, how can we stop those big shots that they love to take.”
Carr definitely put the Chiefs on notice with his last performance. They’ve grown accustomed to dominating the Raiders but that wasn’t the case earlier in the season.
Mathieu Wants to Set the Tone Early
Last season, Mathieu took a bit of a shot at how the Raiders ran their offense and suggested it was predictable. Well, Jon Gruden has been proving to the NFL this season that he still knows how to call a game. Mathieu acknowledged that the Raiders’ offense is playing at a high level.
“I think Jon Gruden and Derek Carr, they’ve really been working well together, and you can kind of see that on tape,” Mathieu said. “So, it’s going to be very important for us to really home in on him from the very first play, to mix up different disguises, to not give him the easy way out, to really make him work from down to down.”
This upcoming matchup is massive for the Raiders. If they can sweep the Chiefs, they are legit Super Bowl contenders. If they lose, then it’s clear that they still have some work to do.