We all know by now the Las Vegas Raiders defense needs plenty of work. However, the unit stepped up against the Kansas City Chiefs and was a factor in the team’s 40-32 victory. One of their biggest contributors was sophomore defensive end Maxx Crosby.
The Raiders defense stepped up against the Chiefs
The Raiders defense has allowed at least 30 points in every game this season. Although this was the case again in Week 5, the defense made enough plays at crucial times. They allowed 24 points in the first half but didn’t give up any in the third quarter. They forced three straight punts in the third quarter. In the Chiefs third drive in the second half, Raiders safety Jeff Heath intercepted one pass quarterback Patrick Mahomes intended for tight end Travis Kelce.
Before Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, the Raiders had just two interceptions, one by linebacker Nicholas Morrow in Week 2. The other came in Week 4, Johnathan Abram picked off Patriots quarterback Can Newton. Yesterday, Heath’s interception helped them score their last touchdown of the game and solidify their lead.
The Silver and Black generated enough pass rush
Heading into Week 5, the Raiders had registered a paltry four sacks this season. They almost doubled that number against the Chiefs and finished the game with three. Chris Smith, whom the team signed in August, was responsible for one. Cornerback Nevin Lawson and defensive end Maxx Crosby registered the other two.
Crosby entered the game with three sacks and now has four. He and the Raiders defensive line constantly applied pressure upfront and rattled Mahomes, something that is easier said than done. After the game, the Eastern Michigan standout said that this past week, the defensive line worked on ‘cutting it loose’. He added that there’s no need to focus on the opponent too much. They still have to respect them, but not overthink things.
Crosby played a key role against the Chiefs and his approach definitely worked. Despite the fact the Raiders can still play even better on defense, they should be happy about their 3-2 record going into their bye week.
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Top Photo: Charlie Riedel/Associated Press