Oakland coach Jack Del Rio chuckled when he was asked the question following the Raiders’ 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
A reporter asked if Thursday’s Chiefs-Raiders game at Arrowhead stadium was merely “another game or if they need to prove themselves.”
“It’s Chiefs week, man. What do you mean another game?” Del Rio said with a laugh as he talked with reporters in Oakland.
Del Rio then talked about his time as the Denver Broncos coach in 2013. The Chiefs won their first nine games that season, but lost six of their final eight, including the playoffs.
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“ I took a Denver team and went in there and beat them twice,” Del Rio told reporters. “They were 9-0 and we went in there and beat them twice. For us, they won the first one here and we look forward to going in there and competing. It’s a good football team, and we are too. We look forward to it.”
The Raiders are 10-2 and have a one-game lead on the 9-3 Chiefs in the AFC West. But the Chiefs won in Oakland earlier this year, so a win on Thursday would give them the division lead.
Receiver Michael Crabtree is aware of the game’s importance for the Raiders.
“It’s really big,” Crabtree told reporters. “It’s really big for the conference. We need this one. Everybody is on the same page. We’re going to go out here and play ball.”
Quarterback Derek Carr was asked about the team getting its 10th win following the Raiders’ victory against the Bills. But he said his attention was already on the Chiefs.
“We know that in our division, we just have to keep winning,” Carr told reporters. “Kansas City, Denver and San Diego, everybody is so good. We’re not focused on what game it is or how many wins we have, we’re focused that Kansas City is who’s next. We obviously know the tough test that is, but we have to compete and get a win there.”
Oakland running back Latavius Murray said he’s fired up about the game.
“Like you said, we have to get back to work,” Murray told reporters. “No time for celebrating much, Thursday night game, division rival. This is what we want. I’m excited and every guy on this team is excited for this opportunity. It’s time to get back to work.”
Receiver Amari Cooper dismissed talk about the short week being a problem for the Raiders.
“I mean, to me it isn’t a new challenge,” Cooper told reporters. “It is the same deal for Kansas City playing us on a short week, so we are on an even playing field. …
“I personally look at it like another week. Take care of your body, study the film, practice hard and know them and what they like to do.”