It almost looked like the Las Vegas Raiders had taken a big step after a good start to the season but the wheels are starting to fall off. They’ve had back-to-back ugly losses and their defense looks like one of the worst in the league. A big problem the defense is having is that they can’t get to opposing quarterbacks.
There is young and veteran talent all over the squad but they’re having a hard time. The Raiders fan base was on Cloud 9 after a big Monday Night Football win over the New Orleans Saints. That excitement has quickly turned into dread for a fan base that has seen way too many losing seasons over the last two decades. While things look bad right now, defensive end Maxx Crosby sent a strong message ensuring the fans that they’ll turn things around.
The Raiders started off 3-4 last year and were able to turn things around and get to 6-4. It’s very possible they could do that again. They’d just need to have a better stretch to end the season.
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Crosby Needs to Get More Pressure Despite Leading Team in Sacks
Crosby may lead the team with three sacks, which is a solid number through four games. However, he only has four pressures and one hurry on the season, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That’s simply not good enough.
Even during his impressive rookie season, Crosby didn’t get that many pressures (he only had 31 on the year). He’s clearly got the talent and the hustle to be a good player but he needs to be way more consistent if the Raiders are going to improve.
Clelin Ferrell Improving but Not Finishing
Crosby is playing okay but there’s not that much pressure on him to succeed because he wasn’t a top draft pick. Last year, the Raiders took Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick and he’s still not making much of an impact. Pro Football Focus has given him a decent grade this season but he’s only got three quarterback pressures and no sacks in four games, according to Pro Football Reference.
He’s playing solid defense in the run game and the Raiders are moving him inside a lot but his production simply isn’t good enough for a top-four draft pick. There was some hype surrounding Ferrell this offseason because he put in a ton of work. So far, it hasn’t translated to the field. Simply put, the Raiders have to figure out how to start getting pressure. Too often do opposing quarterbacks have all day to throw.
It’s been a problem for the Raiders for years and it doesn’t look like there’s a fix on the roster. It’s now clear why the team was interested in Jadeveon Clowney and Yannick Ngakoue this offseason. After seeing how their defensive line has performed, it’s starting to look like the Raiders should’ve pulled off one of those moves.