ALAMEDA, Calif. -- On one hand, the Kansas City Chiefs suspending All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters means we will not have a repeat of Marshawn Lynch running on the field to save his close Oakland friend from his Raiders teammates, should the need arise.
On the other, Derek Carr will not have to worry about facing the ball-hawking Peters, who has picked off Carr twice in the Raiders quarterback's four-year career. In fact, as a team, the Chiefs have five interceptions against Carr, the most of any opponent; his 55.2 completion percentage against Kansas City is the worst against teams he has faced more than once, and his Total QBR of 36.7 is the second-worst among teams he has faced multiple times.
Still, Carr said Peters missing the game does not “dramatically” alter what the Raiders aim to do at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, when two of the three 6-6 teams tied for first place in the AFC West meet.
“I have thrown at him, you know,” Carr said Wednesday. “I have no problem throwing it to certain guys, but when a guy like Marcus, he knows how I feel about him. Super talented, likes to guess on certain routes, but to him, it’s not guessing because he knows route combinations, he’s a very smart player. You have to just be careful.”
In the Raiders’ 31-30 defeat of the Chiefs at the Oakland Coliseum on Oct. 19, a game Oakland won with no time on the clock, Carr went after Peters only once in 15 snaps on the Raiders’ 85-yard winning drive.
Peters was suspended by the Chiefs for his actions in Sunday’s loss at the New York Jets, when he threw an official’s flag into the stands in protest of a call and then left the field on his own with time remaining. It was Kansas City's sixth loss in seven games.
“I expect the other guys to step up and play,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid told Bay Area reporters during a conference call Wednesday. “That’s kind of how we roll here. I don’t expect anything less of that. That’s what we do.”
“When [Peters is] not in there, you study the next guy,” Carr said. “Is he a guesser? There are a lot of guys that people don’t know about in this league that will guess on routes and things like that. [Peters] just has a lot more picks than they do, so you go into the game knowing that about certain people.”
Time for Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing to study up too, then.
“With [Peters] being out, it doesn’t change what we do,” Carr said. “We still have to go out there and execute our game plan. If anything, maybe we throw one or two more the other way. It just depends how they roll the coverages and do those kind of things. I’m going to play my position how Coach Downing wants me to.”
It was midway through the second quarter in the Raiders’ earlier victory over the Chiefs when a fight broke out after Peters was flagged for a late hit on Carr. Oakland’s offensive linemen went after Peters, and Lynch, who is extremely tight with Peters, ran off the bench to play peacemaker. Lynch, though, made contact with an official and was served with a one-game suspension.