It will be critical for Kansas City to maintain its focus. The Raiders — who have now benched longtime starting quarterback Derek Carr in favor of backup Jarrett Stidham — will be looking to play spoiler as the Chiefs attempt to lock up the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy knows better than anyone that his unit still hasn’t played up to its potential.
“I’m still looking for us [to play a complete game],” Biniemy acknowledged to reporters on Thursday, “because obviously, we’re striving for perfection in order to achieve excellence. [But] we’re not there yet.”
“We did an outstanding job of staying together,” declared Bieniemy. “And then we just played through it — and it didn’t impact us. We didn’t allow it to mentally get us down. That was the thing that stood out to me — and that was growth. Those are the things that you’re looking for.”
Bieniemy appreciated that his players “hung together” to collect another victory.
“I like the way they weathered the storm,” observed Bieniemy. “I thought we did a great job — and I’m going to say this — of dragging our ass across the finish line when we needed to do so.”
Bieniemy was smiling, but he was making a serious point. Late in the season, finding a way to win — when the offense is sometimes sputtering — gives the team something to build upon as it looks toward the playoffs.
“You want to put consistent behavior on tape,” Bieniemy explained, “so when you’re not playing as well, you always want to try and figure out, ‘Why aren’t we playing well?’
“But the thing that I’m proud of is that these guys are finding ways to stick together — to grow together — and I think it’s helping us to define our character.”