The Raiders have a long, storied rivalry with Kansas City. It’s been a little lopsided of late.
The Chiefs have won five straight, including every meeting in the Jack Del Rio era. Those results helped funnel AFC West titles to Kansas City the last two years.
The Raiders hope to fair better in 2017. One new addition believes they will. Second-round safety Obi Melifonwu said the tides will turn during an Monday morning appearance on NFL Network.
“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,” Melifonwu said. “Actually, I know we can stop them.”
Melifonwu could play a part in that. They’ve struggled defensively against Kansas City, with major issues containing star tight end Travis Kelce. The Raiders hope his mix of size and speed can hinder tight end production. Odds are good he’ll be used in sub packages as a hybrid linebacker/safety to deal with tight ends and running back. Kelce will be one of the toughest coverage assignments of the season.
“Travis Kelce is a receiver in a lot of ways,” Melifonwu said. “His route stem is really good. He’s a guy that’s a vet who knows how to get open. I have my work cut out. It’s a challenge, but I love challenges. I’m looking forward to it.”