On Sunday, the Hall of Fame career of Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson will end in Kansas City. It’s the same place where Woodson’s career began in a game against the Chiefs, in Kansas City.
And it didn’t go well.
On the opening drive of the 28-8 victory by the home team, Chiefs quarterback Elvis Grbac went right at Woodson, completing a 14-yard pass to Andre Rison on the second offensive snap of the game. Two plays later, Grbac found Rison for another nine yards. Three plays later, Grbac targeted Woodson again, who didn’t give up the reception but who was flagged for interfering with Rison, giving up 17 yards.
The Chiefs scored three plays later, and then the Raiders fumbled the kickoff. On the very next play Grbac threw at Woodson again, beating him for a 30-yard touchdown to Rison.
“It was funny because I was a young player coming in, a lot of confidence, and I was like, ‘Yeah, they’re not going to test me,’” Woodson said this week, via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Then it was like, bam, bam, bam.”
Former Chiefs quarterback Rich Gannon explained that then-Kansas City quarterbacks coach Mike McCarthy urged the offense to attack Woodson while it could.
“We were going over personnel and he said, ‘You’d better take your shots at No. 24 while you have ’em, because he’s a rookie and once he figures it out, we won’t be working in his direction ever again,’” Gannon said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, according to Tafur.
“I was like, ‘OK, this is what it’s going to be like,’” Woodson said. “I had to settle down fairly quickly and understand this is the NFL, you’ve got to be ready. I was humbled very early.”
Later in the game, Woodson forced a fumble by Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez. Even though the Chiefs recovered, it was a small silver lining that would soon blossom into a Silver and Black legend who likely has a big play or two left for his last return to Arrowhead Stadium.