ALAMEDA – Tyreek Hill can be a headache. Just ask the Raiders.
Or any other team, for that matter.
Kansas City's lightning-quick receiver is a big play waiting to happen, with 23 explosive plays of 20 yards or more. Ten have been from 40-plus, with 15 touchdowns in sum. That doesn't include four return touchdowns.
He has been particularly mean to the Raiders. He has 16 catches for 211 receiving yards and two touchdowns versus the Raiders, including a six-catch, 125-yard performance in Week 7. Hill also had a punt return touchdown against Oakland last year in Kansas City.
The Raiders must figure out a way to slow Hill down Sunday in a pivotal AFC West clash at Arrowhead Stadium.
How, John Pagano, should the Raiders do so?
"Pray. Pray a lot," the Raiders defensive play caller said. "He's fast. He's fast. … He's what we call a true game-wrecker. He has speed that gets over the top. We have to go out there and we have to defend him. We have to eliminate those explosives play.
Veteran free safety Reggie Nelson says there's a simple plan for corralling Hill.
"Don't let him get over the top," Nelson said. "He's a dangerous player, someone who is going to be effective in the league for a long time. We have to be mindful of where he is, and make sure he doesn't make big plays."
Hill made plenty last week, with 185 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
"He's an explosive, dynamic player that can change the game, which we've already seen before. We have to understand that and keep coaching those points of how these guys get down field a certain way. We have to do a good job of defending it. He's great at getting over the top of defenses."
Tight end Travis Kelce is good working underneath, and has been another Raider killer in the past. The Raiders beat him up pretty good in a Week 7 win, by chipping him at the line to disrupt downfield timing. That should continue, with Nicholas Morrow taking over in downfield coverage.
How Morrow and the Raiders do against Kelce will be key in this one.. Tracking him and Hill will be important to keep the Chiefs score low.
"They're explosive, efficient," Pagano said. "The one thing about seeing this offense all the time, you have to be on top and understand the leverages of how they're attacking certain things. There's so much to their offense. They do a great job."