Antonio Pierce: Raiders have 'Mahomes rules' for playing Chiefs

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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Antonio Pierce says his Raiders will be channeling the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons when they play Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs as long as he is Las Vegas' head coach.

In a recent episode of Maxx Crosby's "The Rush" podcast, Pierce discussed how he got his team ready to play the Chiefs before they pulled off their 20-14 Christmas Day upset in Kansas City, which was the Chiefs' last loss of the season before they went on to win Super Bowl LVIII.

In the week before the game, Pierce, then the interim coach, expressed to his team that they need to "hate the color red" and showed them videos of famous boxing and MMA fights and how the NBA's Detroit Pistons approached playing Hall of Famer Michael Jordan in the late 1980s, with a tough defensive game plan devised by coach Chuck Daly.

"We've got the Jordan rules and what I'm calling, from now on as long as I'm here, the Patrick Mahomes rules," Pierce said on the podcast. "So, you remember when Jordan was going through it with the Pistons, all those guys in the '80s; before he became Michael Jordan, Air Jordan, the Pistons used to whup his ass. Any time he came to the hole? Elbows, feeling him, love taps. We touched him. We're in the head, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, I'm touching you. So, I showed those guys Jordan getting his ass whupped."

In that Christmas Day game, the Raiders sacked Mahomes four times and finished with 10 quarterback hits. They also scored two defensive touchdowns, including a pick-six of Mahomes by cornerback Jack Jones. The four sacks is tied for the second-most of Mahomes in a game in his career. After that game, the Chiefs went on to win six straight, including four playoff games, culminating in their Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Pierce, who was hired as the team's head coach after the season, said on the podcast that the Raiders have given the NFL the "recipe" of how to beat the Chiefs.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid told NBC Sports this month that he texted Pierce a "thank you" for helping his team refocus by beating it that day. Reid sent the text as the Chiefs moved into the Raiders' facility, their home before the Super Bowl.

"I just said, 'Hey, beautiful facility, first of all. And I appreciate you kicking our tail because you taught us a lesson. You get complacent in this business, the margin between winning and losing is tiny,'" Reid said.

Pierce said the Chiefs using the Raiders' facility at Allegiant Stadium before the Super Bowl will serve as "motivation" for his team. He said his team needs to win the AFC West if it is going to achieve its goal to become a consistent winner. The Chiefs have won the division the past eight seasons.

"We've got to win the division first. We've got to knock off the team in red. They've dominated for [eight] years. We've got to knock off the head of the snake: 15. We've got to do that first," he said.

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