The Raiders made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last year, but they didn’t end the year as the AFC West champions.
That honor went to the Chiefs, who had the same 12-4 record as the Raiders and took the tiebreaker thanks to a pair of wins over their longtime rivals. Defensive back Obi Melifonwu was not part of the Raiders roster in those losses and hasn’t faced the Chiefs yet, but said on NFL Network Monday that he is confident that the results will be different this time around.
“I think so,” Melifonwu said. “Like I said, with all the guys we have this year, with everybody that’s coming back and with everybody we’ve added, our coaching staff and everybody that’s been really for the cause I think we can stop them. Actually, I know we can stop them.”
The Chiefs had 729 yards (481 through the air) and 47 points in those two victories and they used their first three draft picks to bolster their defense. Melifonwu’s exact role in that effort remains to be seen, but the Raiders hope the 6’4″, 224-pound combine standout can be the kind of athletic playmaker that pushes them past the Chiefs and into the top spot in the division this year.