The Las Vegas Raiders will take on one of their toughest opponents in their division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Monday.
When going up against a powerhouse like Kansas City, the last thing a team wants to do is make life harder for itself by making mistakes.
Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi said in his Tuesday presser that protecting the ball is going to be vital for Las Vegas' offense on Monday.
"We're going to try to play complementary football," Lombardi said. "We're going to try to take care of the football. I think that's the biggest thing we can do. If we don't turn the ball over, if we convert some third downs and we do better in the red area, those are the things we can control. Obviously I have great faith in our defense to do their job. They're saying the same thing about us. And if we do that, we'll just be fine.
"The game will take care of itself. But we have to worry about what we control first. And that's ball security, that's field position, that's converting third downs, that's converting short yardages, and getting scoring when we get in the red area."
Lombardi said that ball security was a big key in the Raiders' win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
"We didn't turn the ball over," he said. "We weren't playing from behind. You look at the Tennessee game, the L.A. game, we turned the ball over and didn't convert third downs. We couldn't sustain drives, and we couldn't really play offense. We beat ourselves [from] that standpoint."
The Raiders have not beaten Kansas City since 2020, with the Chiefs having won three-straight against the Silver and Black. Kansas City has also won eight of the last nine matchups.
If Las Vegas' chances of competing for the AFC West crown are to remain, it is almost necessary that it wins at least one of its meetings with the reigning division champs.
Even after a momentous win on Sunday, falling to 1-4 would be a tough hole to climb out of.
As Lombardi said, a Raiders victory on Monday will start with executing on the things that they can control.
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