Does Coach Andy Reid really believe he needs to give his Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions, extra incentive for their rematch with the Las Vegas Raiders this week on Sunday Night Football?
After the Raiders upset the Chiefs, 40-32, on Oct. 11, the Raiders’ team buses took what has been termed a “victory lap” around Arrowhead Stadium before heading to the airport and the flight back to Las Vegas.
Reid apparently wasn’t happy when he heard about it and brought it up twice Monday during his video conference with reporters.
“Listen, they won the game, so they can do anything they want to do,” said Reid, whose Chiefs lead the AFC West with an 8-1 record. “It’s not our style, but we’ll get ourselves back, ready to play. That’s where we’re at.”
Later, without being prompted, Reid brought up the matter again when asked a question about whether he gives a lot of thought about preparing for the rematch.
“I haven’t,” Reid said. “I think they have, or they wouldn’t have driven the bus around the stadium.”
When stories written by writers who cover the Chiefs hit the Internet, reporters covering the Raiders (6-3) couldn’t help but see them.
So naturally, Coach Jon Gruden was asked about it when he spoke with the Las Vegas media later in the day.
“What exactly was the victory lap and is that something that you think about this week as far as bulletin board material or anything like that?” a reporter asked Gruden.
Obviously unhappy with the question, Gruden could not hide his disgust when he responded: “Not really. You can find a smart-aleck bus driver in Kansas City who made some snide comments when we got on the bus. Maybe that’s why we drove around the stadium was to tick him off. This is ridiculous. Next question.”
Whether the “victory lap” was warranted, the Raiders had a good reason to celebrate since they had lost four consecutive games to the Chiefs and nine of the previous 10, the only victory by 31-30 at Oakland in 2017.
The last time the Raiders won in Kansas City was 2012, which was the last time they won both games against the Chiefs in one season.
The Chiefs hold a 67-54-2 lead in the series that dates to the first year of the American Football League in 1960, but the Raiders hold Super Bowl bragging rights with three victories to two by the Chiefs, who might be on their way to another.
And you really wouldn’t call this friendly rivalry.
Near the end of a game at Kansas City in 1970, the Chiefs held a 17-14 lead and were trying to run out the clock when quarterback Lenny Dawson ran for a first down and went to the ground.
The quarterback slide rule was not yet in effect and since Dawson had not been touched by a Raider, defensive end Ben Davidson of the Raiders did what amounted to a forward roll over Dawson.
Wide receiver Otis Taylor of the Chiefs took exception, went after Davidson and a brawl ensued.
Officials called offsetting penalties, the Chiefs were unable to pick up the first down on the next play and had to punt the ball back to the Raiders, who salvaged a 17-17 tie when George Blanda kicked a 48-yard field goal with three seconds left.
In another memorable meeting, the Chiefs won the toss before a 1968 divisional playoff game in Oakland and elected to kick off. Those were before the days before you could defer receiving in the second half, so it meant the Raiders would receive the kickoff at the start of both halves.
The implication was that the Chiefs believed their outstanding defense would shut down the Raiders and they would get the ball in favorable field position to start both halves.
“You what?” Raiders captain and All-Pro guard Gene Upshaw asked the great middle linebacker Willie Lanier, one of the Kansas City captains. “You’ll regret this,” Upshaw told Lanier, and he took a few steps toward the Chiefs sideline, and yelled the same thing at Coach Hank Stram.
Then Upshaw returned to his teammates on the Raiders sideline and said: "Buckle up your chinstraps. We've just been insulted."
Daryle Lamonica threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter and five in the game as the Raiders rolled to a 41-6 victory.
These are only two of the Raiders-Chiefs classics played through the years, and since the Chiefs lead the all-time series, they obviously have their share of similar stories about victories over the Raiders.
When the Raiders upset the Chiefs earlier this season, quarterback Derek Carr outplayed Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes by passing for 347 yards and three touchdowns, so Mahomes probably is looking for some payback.
Victory lap or no, this will simply be another episode of the long-running Raiders-Chiefs drama.
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