The Raiders racked up a big win on Sunday, beating the Chiefs in Kansas Metropolis and rising as the most important menace to the Chiefs’ presumed dominance of the AFC West. After the sport, I requested Raiders security Jeff Heath (who intercepted Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes) to elucidate what Las Vegas did to decelerate (comparatively talking) the Chiefs’ offense.
“I believe [the coaching staff] got here up with a extremely good plan to defend what Kansas Metropolis does finest,” Heath mentioned by cellphone. “On the finish of the day it’s only a soccer group full of men similar to we’re. They are often beat on any day and we knew we have been going to need to convey our ‘A’ recreation and we knew it was going to be a struggle. They weren’t going to go down straightforward. They obtained nice gamers. They obtained most likely the most effective participant within the league enjoying quarterback. It’s simply a type of video games the place you’re going to need to play all 4 quarters, they’re going to make performs however you simply can’t blink you’ve obtained to maintain believing, maintain executing, and see what occurs. Don’t take a look at the scoreboard.”
Take a look at this subsequent rationalization from Heath after I requested for a particular instance of what they did to decelerate the Kansas Metropolis offense.
“Clearly [Mahomes is] so good at extending the play and simply creating time after which as soon as he does he can actually throw the ball everywhere in the subject,” Heath mentioned. “He’s obtained a tremendous arm, and he’s obtained velocity far and wide. Our aim was actually simply as soon as he will get out of the pocket we needed to plaster, um, we knew it was going to be numerous lengthy downs. We knew the place they prefer to get a few of their quick gamers and the way they like to make use of them so we needed to plan for that.”
Heath stopped himself after the phrase “plaster” earlier than pivoting to a extra innocuous rationalization that didn’t contain any references to “plastering” the quarterback. Heath additionally stopped himself from sharing an excessive amount of in regards to the defensive recreation plan.
“I’m not gonna be too particular as a result of we could have to make use of that plan once more,” he mentioned with amusing. “We simply need to have consciousness for the place quantity 10 is, the place quantity 17 is, the place 87 is, how they will use these guys. Then on the finish of the day it turns into yard soccer, man. You simply obtained to cowl. he’s going to increase the play, purchase time, throw the ball far and wide. That was actually the plan.”
So what does this win imply to the Raiders?
“It was only a massive win,” Heath mentioned. “An enormous divisional win. We’ve obtained our bye this week, so it’s all the time good going into our bye week after an enormous ‘W.’ However what, man? It doesn’t actually imply a complete lot as a result of we’ve nonetheless obtained 11 extra video games. Nonetheless have numerous good groups left on our schedule. We’ve obtained to see them once more. I believe all it means is that we’ve performed in these first 5 video games we’ve performed a few of the finest groups within the NFL. We’ve gained some, we’ve misplaced some. I believe we simply know that we are able to play with anyone and if we’re on our stuff and we play to the most effective to our skill, yeah, we are able to play with anyone, we are able to beat anyone. That’s actually all it means. However I’ve been on this league lengthy sufficient to grasp that we are able to take pleasure in this one a bit of longer as a result of now we have the bye, however now we have a tricky Tampa group subsequent week with the best participant of all time enjoying quarterback, so it’s going to be one other powerful recreation. ‘
That subsequent recreation will likely be on Sunday Night time Soccer, with Brady and firm visiting the Raiders and the one coach who took Tampa Bay to a Tremendous Bowl.