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Raiders preview: Conley returns for tough Chiefs matchup

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Fresh off a week of seemingly endless saga, the Oakland Raiders dominated in their 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos last Monday. Oakland will look to make it two in a row against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at the Coliseum.

Kansas City have scored 25-plus points in 22 straight games, the longest stretch in NFL history, behind current NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

Oakland’s defensive end Benson Mayowa, who had a team high two sacks and a forced fumble last Monday, said it will take a team effort to try to slow down Mahomes and company:

“We all have to get pressure on him. We need the inside push and we need the two edges collapsing the pocket. Both of my sacks [last Monday] were accredited to the defensive line.”

The Raiders will try to stop Mahomes without safety Johnathan Abram, who was put on the injured reserved list with a shoulder injury and surgery. He will most likely be out for the rest of his rookie year.

In a corresponding move, head coach Jon Gruden announced the team signed defensive back Juston Burris to their 53-man roster:

“He’s played nickel, he’s played safety and he’s played corner and he’s a potentially a hybrid type player who can do a lot of things and help on [special] teams.”

Reinforcements for Oakland in the secondary will arrive as well, with cornerback Gareon Conley cleared to play after he was carted off with a neck injury in the third quarter Monday.

Conley was holding onto Denver running back Royce Freeman when Abrams came in to finish the tackle. Conley took a blow to the head that appeared to compress his neck into his body. Conley said:

“It was scary, but like I told them earlier I knew I was going to play this Sunday.”

Mahomes threw for 378 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars under the Chiefs high-flying usual offense, which fueled a 40-26 victory on the road.

The Chiefs come into Week 2 with some key losses. Speedster receiver Tyreek Hill is out four to six weeks following a clavicle injury after Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey fell on top of him.

From Conley’s perspective, the offense changes:

“It changes a lot. He’s one of the most explosive players in the league, but they still have a lot of pieces around them.”

One of those pieces is veteran wide-out Sammy Watkins, who exploded for nine catches, 198 yards and three touchdowns.

Derek Carr will look to keep his offense rolling without not only Antonio Brown, who was released last Friday, but J.J. Nelson, who will also be out Week 2 with an ankle injury, according to Gruden.

Carr completed 22-of-26 passes with 259 yards along with one touchdown last Monday against Denver, which included a perfect opening drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown to new No. 1 pass catcher Tyrell Williams.

Williams stepped up after Brown was released and went off for six catches for 105 yards and one touchdown. Williams is capable of being a No. 1 receiver in Gruden’s eyes:

“Well he had 1,100 yards a couple years ago. We looked at him last year when we played him as a number one type guy. We pay him like a number one guy, so he is viewed as our number one guy.”

After a tough test against Kansas City, the Raiders will be the away team for six weeks, including a trip across the Atlantic to play the “home” Chicago Bears in London.

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