Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray should be back for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 30. He can’t wait to play them and is itching for the win.
It’s not just because of the return to NFL action. He’s from Kansas City. That’s his team. He has a tattoo to prove it. You hear many players say they’d like to play for their hometown teams, but Ray is different. He just wants to crush them.
“I look forward every year to beating Chiefs because that’s where I’m from,” Ray said on the Afternoon Drive, per Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann of Mile High Report. “To beat them every year and hear my family talk and whine and take [the Chiefs] off their high horse, that’s what I live for. I want to beat ‘em.”
To do it, he’ll have to get after Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who has been playing very well even though the team traded up to No. 10 overall to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes. It could be that having the rookie looking over his shoulder is pushing him.
“Alex is doing a big-time job of escaping the pocket finding guys down field and deep over-routes,” Ray noted. “It’s not traditional Alex Smith short passes. He knows and we know that we have the guys to run him down. That’s never been a good formula for Chiefs to beat us with Alex being mobile. We’re going to try to contain him, keep him in the pocket and play our game.”
The trick will be pulling back on the throttle a bit. If Ray is so amped up and goes full out at Smith, he risks overrunning it and letting Smith break containment. He and Von Miller will need to apply pressure and get sacks, all while balancing that with containment and limiting big broken plays.
“I don’t think it could play out any better,” Ray said. “With how well the Chiefs are playing, I feel like we’re the team to beat them. I feel like we’re the team that balances up against them very well. For me to come back in that game to add some pass rush, I’m so excited. I want to be a part of the reason why we take them down and really take over our division.”
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