The Las Vegas Raiders have one of the worst-ranked defenses in football, but they stepped up big time in the win against Kansas City.
Much of the talk heading into the Las Vegas Raiders Week 5 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs centered on stopping quarterback Patrick Mahomes. One of the best quarterbacks in the league since taking for Alex Smith in Kansas City, Mahomes is a guy who can score at will, and the Raiders went into that banged up on defense.
Between guys like Damon Arnette, Maurice Hurst, and Maliek Collins missing the game, it was easy to assume that the Raiders defense would be overmatched. However, after a rough start, they came to play in the second half, making life miserable for Mahomes in what would turn out to be a shocking road win for the Silver and Black.
As they await the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, building on that will be key.
Building upon the second half
Between the front actually getting push, forcing Mahomes to get uncomfortable in the pocket, and the secondary holding the Chiefs weapons in check, there was a lot to like with the Raiders defense last Sunday. Sure, Jeff Heath‘s interception was a highlight, but it was the team’s ability to get pressure that was the difference in this one.
Clelin Ferrell may have had his best game as a pro, and Kendall Vickers came up huge in relief of the injured Collins and Hurst. In the secondary, Johnathan Abram was an absolute beast, and Trayvon Mullen continues to show why he is a legitimate CB1 at the NFL level.
The return of Nick Kwiatkoski to this defense has been huge, and when Hurst, Collins, and Arnette come back, it makes them even more dangerous. They took a big step forward Sunday, and will need an equal effort against Brady and an explosive Tampa Bay offense that can beat you in so many ways.