Despite the 2016 rise of the Raiders, the Chiefs quietly won the AFC West last season and beat Oakland twice in the process. In each win the Chiefs put up at least 300 yards. Coming off a bye on Oct. 16, they topped 400 yards of total offense, logged 22 first downs and didn't turn the ball over once.
"I think [we can stop them]," Melifonwu said on Good Morning Football on Monday. "Like I said, with all the guys we have this year, with everybody that's coming back and with everybody we've added, our coaching staff and everybody that's been really for the cause I think we can stop them.
"Actually, I know we can stop them."
While Melifonwu didn't say it himself, his presence in Jack Del Rio's defense could be part of the optimism. The UConn product blew scouts away at this year's NFL combine, prompting NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock to state after watching his tape: "Now we're getting into the freak zone." With a rare mix of size and speed, he is the latest in a new blend of cornerback and safety prospects strong enough to cover premier tight ends like Kansas City's Travis Kelce. In two games against the Raiders last year, Kelce posted a modest eight catches for 133 yards and no touchdowns.