The Chiefs have gone to two straight Super Bowls and may be on a three-year streak if not for a Dee Ford offside penalty in an AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots after the 2018 season.
The Raiders have gone 19-29 without a winning record or playoff berth over the last three seasons, but their tight end Darren Waller doesn’t think there’s a major gulf between the two teams. The Raiders beat the Chiefs in their first meeting of the 2020 season, lost the second with four points, and Waller made those results central to his argument.
“I really don’t think there’s much because the first game we won, the second game they score at the end and if you ask people on defense, they say we can’t happen but those are two games that we feel like we should have won,” Waller said, via NBCSportsBayArea.com. “We don’t feel like the gap is that big, honestly. It’s easy to show up and play them because they are so good and so talented that you naturally want to play your best. We feel like our best is right there with theirs.”
Waller identified the difference between the two teams. The Raiders started 6-4 in 2019 before losing five of their final six games and they were 6-3 in 2020 before going 2-5 down the stretch.
Waller said they “have to be a more locked in team” than they have been because good teams like the Chiefs get better as the season progresses. He added a need to make sure details and fundamentals don’t slide as the season grinds toward its conclusion. It will be quite a while before we know if they improve on that front and whether things will be tighter in the AFC West the next time around.