In a Week 1 AFC West matchup, the Las Vegas Raiders came out victorious against the Denver Broncos as they came back to win 17-16 on the road.
The Raiders got out to an early lead after Jimmy Garoppolo found Jakobi Meyers for a touchdown, but the Broncos responded with a couple of scores of their own to take a 13-10 halftime lead. For most of the third quarter, Las Vegas struggled with penalties and extending drives.
However, the Silver and Black were able to overcome the miscues to put together one more touchdown drive that sealed the win. Defensively, the Raiders had several moments that were reminiscent of last season, but they pulled together when it mattered most.
After the game, Maxx Crosby discussed how the defense looked and claimed that things are different with the team this year via Vegas Sports Today:
“For sure. I feel like last year the expectations were super high. We had a lot of people…I feel like everyone was pressing too much and we learned from that. That’s last year, it’s a whole different team this year. We got a bunch of new guys, new coaches, new everything. So you just see the guys staying calm, doing what we need to do in critical moments and just trusting the guy next to us. If you don’t trust the guy next to us, you’re not gonna win in this league. And you just see it. Marcus Peters is talking, Marcus Epps is talking, you got the rookie at the other corner just calm and collected, you got linebackers communicating with us. So it’s like once everybody’s on the same page and fighting for the same thing you’re gonna have good results. So it’s a testament to all those guys.”
Crosby looked like his usual self as he came up with five total tackles (two solo), one tackle for loss and one sack. He also added two quarterback hits on Russell Wilson. Even without Chandler Jones, who remains away from the team, Las Vegas did well to get pressure on Wilson and force him into some errant throws.
Although it wasn’t the cleanest game, the defense did show real improvement from last year’s unit, and that bodes well for the rest of the regular season. However, Crosby and the crew will need to be much better in Week 2 when they take on the Buffalo Bills.