Defensive end Maxx Crosby was a revelation for the Las Vegas Raiders last season. Now in his sophomore campaign, he needs to have the same kind of impact he had in the second half of the 2019 season. The Silver and Black’s Week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints would be a good time.
Maxx Crosby needs to have the impact he had for the Raiders in 2019
We don’t think the Raiders originally expected much from Crosby. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have waited until the fourth round of 2019’s draft to chose him. A hand injury slowed down the East Michigan product at the beginning of the season and he didn’t have much of an impact in the first four games. Things would quickly change as he registered his first sack in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears. He didn’t look back and finished his rookie campaign with 10 quarterback takedowns, 14 hits, four passes defensed and four forced fumbles. Also, he was a runner up for the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Just like that, he became a key cog on the Raiders defense.
This season, the Raiders surely hope Crosby will take the next step in his development. One of the reasons EDGE Nick Bosa got DROY accolades over Crosby in 2019 was his total number of pressures. As good as Crosby’s 45 pressures were, Bosa registered almost twice that amount with 80. His 26 tackles ranked 39th in the NFL and Pro Football Focus gave him a 58.8 grade against the run. Moreover, he missed 11 tackles, so there was definitely room for improvement heading into 2020.
There is room for improvement
In the first game of the 2020 season, Crosby had one hurry, two assists, and missed two tackles. It’s too early to say the defensive end is going through a sophomore slump. Nevertheless, he needs to play better against the Saints in Week 2. He needs to pick up where he left off last season if the Raiders want to have a shot at beating the Saints.
Working in Crosby’s favor is that he won’t have to carry the unit in his shoulders as the team now has more talent all over the defensive line after adding defensive tackle Maliek Collins and defensive end Carl Nassib in the offseason. One game doesn’t make or break a player, however, Crosby needs to play better against the Saints. It’s not as if he can’t, he already showed he’s capable of doing it in 2019.
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