The defense of the Las Vegas Raiders has been very disappointing overall throughout the 2022 season. It is hard to imagine, but things could actually be worse if they didn’t have Maxx Crosby playing along their defensive line.
Crosby has been a one-man wrecking crew this season as his teammates are giving him no assistance when it comes to rushing the passer or making plays in the opponent’s backfield. On the season, Crosby has 9.0 sacks while no one else on the team has more than 1.0.
The lack of production around him usually means that he is facing double and triple teams with regularity, but that isn’t stopping him from putting up big numbers. In addition to the sack numbers, Crosby has 16 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits. According to NFL on CBS, that makes him the only player in the league with at least 15 of each statistic.
That is some impressive work by Crosby, who is certainly earning every penny of the four-year, $99.98 million extension he signed earlier this year. It is truly remarkable what he is accomplishing despite the lack of help around him.
However, the lack of help isn’t from a lack of trying on the part of the front office. Moves were made, but they just haven’t panned out, such as spending a lot of money on Chandler Jones as a bookend to Crosby. Thus far, that signing has been a bust.
Jones has 0.5 sacks on the season with one tackle for loss and six quarterback hits. The player that the Raiders traded away to make room for him on their defensive line, Yannick Ngakoue, has 6.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits in 11 games with the Indianapolis Colts. They have played a nearly identical amount of snaps, as Jones has been on the field for 517 plays and Ngakoue 516, but the production isn’t comparable.
The production from Clelin Ferrell, the No. 4 overall pick from the 2019 NFL Draft who had his fifth-year option declined, is even less. He has 0.5 sacks with zero tackles for loss and four quarterback hits on the season.
Expect the Raiders to be back on the market for pass-rushing help next offseason. They have a star in Maxx Crosby, but no one else is taking advantage of the attention he draws to open up opportunities for his teammates.