The rivalry between the Raiders and Chiefs spans decades. Though Kansas City has dominated over the last several years, Las Vegas is on the rise. With Jon Gruden leading the team, there’s actual stability with the franchise. They’ve had a major influx in young talent and have built their team with the Chiefs in mind.
One of the most exciting pieces the Raiders have found is defensive end Maxx Crosby. As a rookie, he was able to get 10 sacks, but there’s one player he’s got his eyes on. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes might just be the best player in the NFL and Crosby sent him a very clear message.
“Just know I’m coming, no doubt,” Crosby said while being interviewed on The Lefkoe Show.
“I was close as few times. It pissed me off pretty much. Every second after that game was over, a couple times I was just mad. . . He’s a different type of player too. He’s one of those guys. He just backpedals, he’ll throw the ball from weird angles, it’s not like sacking a regular quarterback. Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to sacking him. It needs to happen. It’s definitely going to happen.”
The Raiders were able to sack Mahomes three times this season but Crosby wasn’t involved with any of them. It’s not an easy task sacking the 2019 Super Bowl MVP. That’s not going to stop “Madd Maxx” from trying.
Crosby Believes He’ll Be Better This Season
As a fourth-round pick, Crosby’s rise to prominence wasn’t supposed to happen so fast. He had one of the best rookie seasons in franchise history and he believes he has a lot of room to improve.
“I’m coming in as the starter and now guys look at me, they have respect for me, I’m not the rookie getting bullied every day,” Crosby said. “You’re more comfortable and you just go in there with more confidence. I’m just ready for it.”
“They’re going to see a new and improved version of myself, 16 games, at least, hopefully, the playoffs, I’m going to be getting after it every game.”
The Raiders added a lot of talent on defense this season and that should only help Crosby. There’s been a lot of talk about how the team’s offense should be great, but many are sleeping on the defense. Cornerback is still a concern but the front seven has a lot of exciting players these days. It’s not impossible to see Crosby getting between 12 and 15 sacks this season.
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How Raiders Can Finally Beat Chiefs
Since 2013, the Raiders are 2-12 against the Chiefs. The team even struggled against Kansas City when they had their great season in 2016. Right now, Andy Reid and Mahomes own the Raiders. However, they may not be as far off from dethroning the kings of the AFC West as everybody thinks.
They added two excellent linebackers this offseason to help slow down Travis Kelce. Crosby and Clelin Ferrell should be better this season and they have some interesting players in the secondary. The defense is still a work in progress, but it should be much better.
While the defense is more promising, no defense is going to completely neutrality the Chiefs’ offense. The Raiders need to score points to beat their rival. Mike Mayock and Gruden have done a solid job putting together the type of offense a team needs to beat the Chiefs. If they’re going to beat them, they need to keep Mahomes off the field. The best way to do that is to run the ball. Armed with a great offensive line and Josh Jacobs, the Raiders have the ability to do that. There’s still a gap between the two teams and it could take another year for the silver and black to have a chance. That said, it shouldn’t be that surprising if the Raiders pull off an upset at home against the Chiefs.