The Las Vegas Raiders secured a thrilling victory over the Baltimore Ravens in front of a raucous crowd thanks in large part to defensive end Maxx Crosby.
The Raiders knew full well they would need to make former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson feel uncomfortable in the pocket if they were going to come out on top in the 2021 NFL season opener. Crosby stepped up to the task by registering with six total tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for loss.
Crosby’s performance was instrumental in helping the Raiders come out with a 33-27 win in overtime. For his efforts, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, via the team’s official Twitter:
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) September 15, 2021
Safe to say that this is a promising start to a potential Defensive Player of the Year bid for Crosby. Although it is still far too early in the season for predictions, he showed no reason why he should not be in the conversation moving forward.
Crosby did not hide his excitement for the arrival of Yannick Ngakoue this offseason as his new partner on the edge, and the pair were adamant that they were looking to establish themselves as one of the league’s premier rushing duos in the 2021 campaign. Although Ngakoue was limited by a hamstring injury he suffered during the game, Crosby and defensive end Carl Nassib managed to pick up the slack when it was needed most.
The former fourth-round pick made it clear that he was tired of hearing about this team’s potential as a playoff team and that the time has come for them to start playing up to expectations. He is backing up his talk by setting a tremendous pace on the defensive side of the ball, and it is paying some major dividends for the rest of this group.