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Raiders Defensive Coordinator Explains Challenges Of Facing Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Oct 6, 2022, 8:00 AM

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball against Lavonte David #54 of the T...

TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 02: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball against Lavonte David #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders got over one hurdle last week, securing their first win of the season. However, there’s little time for celebration because they have to prepare for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham spoke to the media, explaining how the team is preparing for their division rivals. First, he was asked about preparing for a quarterback like Mahomes. So far this season, Mahomes has thrown 1,106 yards and 11 touchdowns. But more impressively, he’s only thrown two interceptions while extending plays.

“He’s at such an elite status in terms of his ability to perform under pressure, make plays within the system, make plays on loose play,” Graham said. “It’s a difficult challenge and I think our preparation for each week, we try to attack it brand new each week whoever the opponent is and try to see what they do best, how can we take it away, who are they going to in certain situations? But he just presents so many problems and so many issues, it’s challenging. It’s going to be a big challenge on Monday night. We look forward to it, that’s why we got into this business.”

Of Mahomes’ 1,106 yards, tight end Travis Kelce has been on the receiving end of 322 of them. How do the Raiders plan to limit one of Mahomes’ favorite targets? Whether its in the red zone, third down or in the passing game, Graham said they’ll do their best to minimize Kelce’s day.

“I mean, you’re not going to stop him all the way,” Graham said. “He’s too good of a player, but you got to try to minimize. Again, he’s fun to watch, and I think he plays with a certain joy or energy that you really look at and say, ‘I like this guy.’ Because he plays football. He enjoys being out there with his teammates and playing the game, and I respect that.”

But when Mahomes runs to the sideline and flips the ball to the back of the endzone, does Graham like that, too?

“Oh, no, I’m not enjoying it,” Graham said with a laugh.

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