Raiders News: Antonio Pierce, Mark Davis, and more.

Will Chiefs Winning The Super Bowl Lead Raiders Fans Into Paralyzing Uncertainty?

The Kansas City Chiefs are the champions, but what will that do for Las Vegas Raiders fans? It’s possible that it might send them into a frenzy this offseason.

How much meaning does being the last team to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions of 2024, actually have?

More importantly, how much should Raider Nation be concerned about the AFC West? In the division, Antonio Pierce went 3-1, holding a multi-score lead in that loss as well. Where do the Raiders go from here?

Ruining Christmas isn’t the Raiders’ standard…

Celebrating victories at GEHA Stadium is getting old and played out for some. It’s good for morale to win in places where you struggle, but the wheels on the bus can only go round and round so many times. Coach Pierce appears to have reinvigorated the mantra of “Commitment to Excellence,” which is nice. Still, they’ve rung hollow for far too long.

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are here to stay, and they are the NFL’s gold standard. The former has been perched atop the AFC West since he arrived in 2013. Since Mahomes took over the starting duties as quarterback for the Chiefs, the road to the Super Bowl has run through him. Only Joe Burrow and Tom Brady have been able to outduel him in the postseason.

Championships used to be the standard for the Silver and Black. Taking what the offense wanted and being feared and respected on defense. As it stands, the AFC West has gotten a lot tougher than it was to begin with. All three divisional opponents have head coaches who have won championships and been to the Super Bowl.

A sign of things to come?

The blueprint for disrupting Reid and Mahomes Chiefs has been out for a couple of years now. Using shell coverage, keep receivers in front of the defense and eliminate the big play. Contain Mahomes and don’t allow him to escape the pocket. Meanwhile, chuck Kelce at the line of scrimmage and throw off their timing and rhythm.

Ill intent, violence, physicality, and pain. A criminal element may be the only thing separating Pierce’s Raiders from the Soul Patrol. In any case, the key to the Raiders’ resurgence was a return to Raider football. A team that will knock you round and upside down and laugh when they’ve conquered and won.

Under Pierce, the Raiders had an opportunity to sweep the Chiefs in 2024. In the first of the head-to-head matchups for Las Vegas, the Raiders started the game fast and squandered an early opportunity to score on their second drive. The Chiefs outexecuted the Raiders even after Josh Jacobs’ long run added another score to the lead.

In the second game, the Raiders kicked the Chief’s ass on their home field. So much so that it provided the necessary wake-up call to right the ship and get back on course. To further drive home the point, Reid texted Pierce to thank him for the beating.

What is a franchise rookie quarterback worth for the Raiders?

The Raiders quarterback position is one of the biggest points of contention moving forward. Mark Davis supposedly grilled all general manager candidates on what their plan was to move up in the draft and get him a quarterback. Pierce has acknowledged that they will be bringing in quarterbacks to compete for the starting position this offseason. Aidan O’Connell has been on record, referring to his uphill battles to earn and/or maintain his starting position throughout his entire career.

Both the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots have reportedly expressed interest in trading the number one or three picks. The Raiders need a premium quarterback; it would be wiser for them to finally mortgage the future and get their guy. Is the ability to draft a future quarterback in the first round and get five years of cheap, productive service worth sacrificing multiple firsts?

Yes, for the answer to that, look no further than the conundrum that Derek Carr presented. Multiple turnovers completely changed the offensive personnel. The results stayed in the .500 winning percentage except for two abnormalities; the only constant was a conservative approach at quarterback. Paying average quarterbacks top dollar rather than being willing to pull the trigger on drafting a top quarterback is much less cost-effective per win.

Scared money doesn’t make money…

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. At some point, the Raiders need to start making aggressive moves to get where they want to go. Even with the pending outgoing free agency, this team has a very good offensive roster. Never have the stars more aligned for the organization to draft a quarterback in the first round.

Whether they trade up or not…

For those worried about the draft pick being a bust or those who believe it’s O’Connell’s job to lose, he’s not going anywhere. He will get every opportunity to prove that last year wasn’t the full extent of what he can do. He can evolve, find ways around his lack of mobility, and produce more points.

One thing is for certain: the new league year and free agency start in a month, and the draft is in two and a half months. There is much work to be done, and everything Pierce does is aggressive in pursuit of his goals. Standing pat and allowing the offseason to be dictated to the Raiders may not be their goal.

*Top Photo: Getty Images

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