Las Vegas Raiders have the defense to buck trend vs Kansas City Chiefs

The Las Vegas Raiders defense has played at a high level in recent weeks, and could buck the trend against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

It has not been pretty for the Raiders franchise since Andy Reid took over as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. The wins have been few and far between since that day, with the rare victories coming only three times across the last 20 meetings with the team's hated rivals.

In most years, the Chiefs just have too much offense for the Raiders, as was seen in the two meetings during the 2022 NFL season. Las Vegas got out to a strong lead against Kansas City at home last season, only to see the lead dwindle away as the Raiders defense had no answer for Patrick Mahomes and company.

That had been standard practice for the Raiders defense against any elite offensive team, as the Silver and Black struggled on all three levels on that side of the ball. However, 2023 is a brand new year for the Raiders, and with the way the defense has played as of late, there is no reason why they can't be the unit that bucks the trend against Kansas City, starting this weekend.

Raiders defense has to be elite on Sunday afternoon vs Chiefs

Yes, Maxx Crosby has been a beast for the Raiders since his rookie season, and he has had some great games against the Chiefs. However, he has not gotten much help, especially from the defensive backfield, who seems to allow season-highs to the Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, nearly every time these two teams play.

In 2023, Crosby has once again proven to be one of the best players in the NFL, but now, he has help on all three levels of the defense. The linebacker group, led by Robert Spillane has been much better, the secondary seems to get better every week, and we are seeing incredible growth from Malcolm Koonce across the past few games.

Mahomes is an elite quarterback, and is likely going to have his moments on Sunday, but this Raiders defense is good enough as a group to get stops, something we could not say in years past. If the team plays the way they did against Miami, where they forced multiple turnovers, the hope is that the offense can make enough plays on that side of the ball to come away with a stunning victory right before the bye week.