When you’re building a player in a video game, there’s always some give and take. If you want a guy with speed, he can’t be maxed out on power as well. If you want high effort, you’re probably going to get lower peaks. Otherwise, the game wouldn’t be fair.
Well, don’t tell whatever lab Maxx Crosby was built in.
You want effort and desire? Find me a guy in the league who wants it more than Crosby. You want high-end traits? Ask opposing running backs what it’s like to receive a handoff and find that Crosby is already up in their grill. You want special moments? How about a forced fumble to thwart a would-be touchdown immediately followed by a blocked field goal.
The truth is, the fourth-year man out of Eastern Michigan has it all — and it’s time folks around the league start to take notice.Famously a fourth-round pick, Crosby posted 10 sacks as a rookie and then 15 more in the two seasons that followed — never missing a game in his young career. Through 10 games this season, Crosby already has nine sacks to his name after bringing Russell Wilson to the ground twice in his team’s must-have game against the Broncos.
But it’s not just the sacks. Crosby also leads the league in tackles for loss as he has established himself as more than just a pure pass-rusher. In fact, if you look at the sacks leaderboard, just one of the top 40 names on that list has more than 40 tackles on the season — and that’s Crosby, with 42 to his name.
And it’s not even just the box score, either. I think the most amazing thing about Crosby might be all the things that are harder to measure — his effort, his preparation, and his pure want-to. The best number to measure that is snap count, and it’s no surprise that Crosby leads the Raider defense in snaps this season (565, which is 67 more than Rock Ya-Sin, who is second). In fact, he has played 90% of the snaps in every game this season — including 100% of the snaps in Sunday’s win against the Broncos — and leads all defensive linemen in snaps per game (56.5).
Just think about that.
For a guy with the spin move, the intelligence, and the length of Crosby to also have the kind of chase-you-down-from-behind-and-never-miss-a-snap type of attitude? It’s honestly not fair.
But speaking of fair: I’d argue that Crosby is doing all this despite getting an unfair amount of attention from opposing offenses. Much like Davante Adams on offense, there’s really only one guy on either side of the ball that requires game-planning — and on defense, it’s Crosby.
Chandler Jones was brought in to be his side-kick, but through 10 weeks, it is clear that Crosby is the only real threat to get after quarterbacks — so the fact that he is producing at the level he is while essentially playing on an island is kind of insane.
Which is probably the right word to use to describe the man they call Mad Maxx.
His production? Insane.
His effort? Insane.
His leadership? Insane.
It’s about time folks around the league start noticing.