After a 13-year drought, the Oakland Raiders made the playoffs last season, but they were beaten in a Wild Card Game.
A big reason for the early exit was that quarterback Derek Carr missed the playoff game because he suffered a broken fibula late in the regular season.
When Carr went down with the injury, one of the people who reached out to him was Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
“Coach Sutton is a great coach, all the respect for him,” Carr said a news conference this week. “So much respect that he even texted me when I got hurt last year. He’s just a good dude, but this week I don’t like him too much.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
That’s understandable because Carr has struggled mightily against the Chiefs in his career.
Carr is 1-5* against the Chiefs, having completed 55.1 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s averaged 4.49 yards per attempt and been sacked 18 times.
*Carr’s most losses against any opponent in his career
“They do a good job of rushing the passer, they do a good job of stopping the run, they do a good job on the coverage end,” Carr said of the Chiefs. “In our division, there are good defenses. It just is what it is.
“He (Sutton) does a really good job of making sure everyone is locked in and they are really smart players. They don’t do a lot so then they can see route concepts, they can visualize things and get used to seeing those kind of things.”
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote that Carr, who is making $25 million a year, needs to “play like a prime-time player when playing in prime time.”
The Raiders, 2-4, are in need of a victory, having lost four straight. The Chiefs, 5-1, can get a second road win against an AFC West opponent, which would be huge.
“It’s a division game which really counts for two. They usually do,” Carr said. “You want to go out there and beat one of the best teams in football. We have them coming to our place on a short week. All the challenges are there, everything is pushing our back against the wall. But one thing I know we’re going to do is we’re going to come out and fight.”