Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby showed up in a big way versus the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, his defensive line cohorts haven’t caught up yet.
Raider Nation was anxiously waiting for Crosby’s breakout game in 2020. The 2019 rookie standout showed promise as a future defensive star after getting picked up in the fourth round. As a whole, the Raiders defensive line has been underwhelming in its play so far. This was after much hype when the team hired defensive line specialist, Rod Marinelli to the coaching staff. In addition, the team added Maliek Collins and Carl Nassib to help fortify the unit even further. Dismally, the squad just hasn’t gelled yet and has yet to deliver on the offseason hype.
On a positive note, the line’s sole star showed up big against Bill Belichick’s offense. After a slow start in 2020, Crosby got to Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, on two occasions. The two sacks are hopefully a sign that the former Eastern Michigan Eagle is finally getting it going.
The Rest of the Raiders D-Line Is Still Lagging
Maxx Crosby gets the 2nd sack of the season for Las Vegas pic.twitter.com/e6niC5yeXE
— Ben Brown 🌻 (@BenBrownPL) September 27, 2020
As a collective unit, the Raiders defensive line did what they could against the Patriots but moving forward, they must step up. Clelin Ferrell, last year’s fourth overall pick, has yet to register a sack this season. One small positive depending on your point of view, Ferrell’s grading at 73.5 for his run defense per Pro Football Focus. Blame defensive coordinator Paul Guenther if you’d like but this is unacceptable production out of such a high draft pick.
Nassib, for his part, has notched one sack with four solo tackles but overall, according to PFF, has been a disappointment so far. In fact, Nassib has been graded overall at 55.2 for 2020. It’s easy to judge as an observer but something isn’t clicking at the moment for the defensive line. Regardless, if the Raiders want to avoid a tailspin these coming games, they’ll have to get to opposing quarterbacks more often.
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*Top Photo: Charles Krupa/Associated Press