The Chiefs will try to maintain their no-doubt-about-it supremacy in the AFC West when they meet the Raiders in Las Vegas on “Sunday Night Football” on NBC.
This is the rematch of an Oct. 11 game in Kansas City won by the Raiders, 40-32. The Raiders’ team bus reportedly took a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium following that game. That became a topic of conversation last week. Chiefs Coach Andy Reid said such a celebration is “not our style.”
Raiders Coach Jon Gruden didn’t particularly want to discuss the topic, suggesting the maneuver might have been aimed at “a smart-aleck bus driver in Kansas City who made some snide comments when we got on the bus” and calling the issue “ridiculous.”
All of that led former NFL executive Joe Banner, who worked with Reid in Philadelphia, to write on Twitter: “Andy Reid’s comments this week about Raiders behavior after the last time they played shouldn’t be overlooked. I have been with him when he has been in this position. He will not take his foot off the gas [pedal] in this game until he is back in the locker room after it’s over.”
The Chiefs return from their bye week. Reid’s teams have a record of 18-3 in his career in post-bye games. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has 25 touchdown passes and one interception on the season and perhaps is the league MVP front-runner.
Mahomes faces a Raiders defense that had many of its players in quarantine last week after defensive end Clelin Ferrell reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. A significant number of Raiders defenders were identified as high-risk close contacts but most have returned from their five-day quarantines and are eligible to play in this game.
The Raiders activated defensive backs Johnathan Abram and Isaiah Johnson and defensive linemen Maliek Collins, Johnathan Hankins, Arden Key and Kendal Vickers from their covid-19 reserve list Saturday. They also elevated defensive linemen David Irving and Chris Smith and linebacker Javin White from the practice squad.
Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, however, reportedly was placed back on the covid-19 reserve list Sunday. He’d been activated from that list Friday.
The Raiders are on a three-game winning steak and have a record of 6-3. They’re two games behind the first-place Chiefs, who are 8-1, in the AFC West.