AFC Notes: Patrick Mahomes, Antonio Pierce, Michael Strahan, Chiefs, Raiders


While the Chiefs have had their share of struggles this year, it was still surprising to see them drop a home game to the Raiders on Monday in the fashion that they did.

Even so, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes stressed that they can still accomplish what they want this season if they can clean things up in the final few weeks of the season. 

“I still believe that we can go do what we want to do,” Mahomes said, via “It’s just how can we correct it as quickly as possible. We’re two games left that are guaranteed and then you talk about the playoffs and so all you can do is move on to that next day, get better then and try to be better the next time we step on the field.”

The results haven’t been encouraging as of late, but Mahomes believes they can still beat any team in the NFL if they can clean up their issues. 

“If we clean it up, we’ll be able to score points,” Mahomes said. “It’s just [that] we’ve got to clean it up. We’re two games left. You have to do it and if we don’t, we’ll be going home.

“If we clean it up, we can beat anybody. I truly believe that, but we got to prove that we can do it.”


Raiders interim HC Antonio Pierce seems to have command of the Raiders locker room, especially after their big win over the Chiefs. He is attempting to reinstall the team’s physicality and also weighed in on the three-sack performance by pass rusher Malcolm Koonce

“We talked about it all week,” Pierce told his players in the locker room after the win, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “Ill intent, violence, physicality, pain. … Enough was enough. And that was displayed right there. When I know that you know that I know and they know and we know and everybody knows … on Christmas … and you’re still able to do it, that’s good football….I will, we will. I believe, we believe. This is what the hell we do. Let’s smoke our s—, let’s talk our s—. This is the Raiders’ goddamm way.”

“Malcolm is really making a name for himself,” Pierce said of Koonce. “That’s now really three weeks in a row where it’s like … ‘Wow.’ These guys, by any means necessary, find a way to get it done.”

One of the Raiders’ best players LB Maxx Crosby enjoyed another victory cigar in the locker room this week. As did QB Aidan O’Connell, who got another win after scoring the most points by a rookie quarterback in the previous game.

“It was a beautiful day,” Crosby said. “We knew we were going to have to scratch and claw. … We’re playing really good football right now.”

“AP did an awesome job all week of preparing us,” O’Connell said of Pierce. “He showed his intensity pretty early on in the week about how much he wanted this game and how much he wanted to win, and what it would take. It was awesome to see it all come together.”


Raiders’ interim HC Antonio Pierce feels he’s grown as a head coach every day and is hopeful that his team’s production is enough to land the full-time job. 

“My resume is on the grass. What do you want? I can put up a fancy presentation, I’ve seen that before. I can put up stats, I can put up my resume, but the best thing that happened for me was an opportunity,” Pierce said, via Tyler Dragon of USA Today. “I said this maybe last week, the worst day I was going to be as a head coach was my first day. And each day is my job and I really take pride in growing each and every day to get better. No different than when I was a player to get better. And by the end, you look at it, whatever your career was and whatever my coaching careers is, and you sit there and say, ‘Look, this is what he was.’ And hopefully (Raiders owner) Mark Davis sees improvement and growth within our team. He sees the style and play that he wants from the Raiders. He sees a fan base that’s behind us. He sees a building that loves coming to work and loves being here. And people that’s covering the team, enjoying covering the team. And at the end of the day, we got to win. And right now, my record, our record is 4-3.”

Hall of Fame DE Michael Strahan, who was teammates with Pierce on the New York Giants, feels Pierce has done an “incredible job” while still working with former HC Josh McDaniels’ assistant coaches and he deserves to land the full-time head coach role. 

“Antonio Pierce has done an incredible job with the Raiders,” Strahan said. “This is not with his staff. He inherited this staff from Josh McDaniels when he was coaching there. I would love to see Antonio Pierce have the opportunity to coach this Raiders team as the permanent head coach. I think he deserves it, and this win (Monday) was a statement toward how great he is as a coach and as a motivator and as a leader of men, which is what he did for me with the Giants and what he’s doing now as a coach for the Raiders.”

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