Originally published by RaidersNewswire.com
The Las Vegas Raiders managed to pull off quite an upset over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5. While quarterback Derek Carr and the offense managed to steal the show with some explosive plays, it was the defense that made the difference in the 40-32 victory.
Of course, it did not appear this way to start the game as the Chiefs’ high-powered offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes rattled off 24 points in the first half. Up to the point, the potential shootout was eerily shifting in Mahomes’ favor.
Fortunately, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was able to make the necessary adjustments at halftime as they shut Kansas City out in the third quarter before giving up just eight points in the fourth. This was thanks in large part to the consistent pressure they generated on Mahomes with three sacks.
Among those to bring Mahomes down was defensive end Chris Smith, who was activated from the practice squad before the game in an attempt to shore up some depth up front. Gruden was admittedly pleased with how the defensive line stepped up without Maurice Hurst and Maliek Collins, per Levi Edwards of the team’s official website:
“If you look at the number of scrambles Mahomes had today, the effort that we had to try to get him (was there),” said Coach Gruden. “This is as hard as it gets; we didn’t have many substitutions available. Chris Smith, Datone Jones came up off the practice squad. It was their debut today, and thank God we had them.”
The Raiders knew full well that they would need to do all they could to prevent Mahomes from establishing a rhythm for this star-studded offense. Although it may have taken longer than expected in Week 5, it was enough for them to hand the Chiefs their first loss of the 2020 NFL season.
Getting in on the sack party for Mahomes was cornerback Nevin Lawson, who also finished with a team-high six tackles. Meanwhile, defensive end Maxx Crosby also made his presence felt with a sack and two tackles.
The timing of this big game from the pass rush could not be any better for the Raiders as they get set to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7 after their bye. There is no question that another win against an explosive offense will make quite a statement to the rest of the league.
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