Following the Oakland Raiders 31-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts, Head Coach Jon Gruden said rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby does a lot of things that don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.
And while Crosby’s hustle plays and work on special teams often do fly under the radar, No. 98 did indeed make sure his name showed up on the final gamebook early and often en route to the Silver and Black’s first road win of the young 2019 season.
“I feel like we [the defensive line] played well collectively,” said Crosby postgame. “As the game went on, I feel like we got more and more pressure, so we had good energy from the start, and it paid off.”
All told, Crosby finished the game with two tackles, one quarterback hit, two passes defensed and a forced fumble in what was clearly the most productive day of his young career.
While the Silver and Black’s fourth round pick in this year’s NFL draft certainly looked every bit the pass rusher Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock hoped they were getting out of Eastern Michigan against the Colts, the past several months have had no shortage of ups and downs for Crosby, who broke his hand in the team’s preseason debut against the Los Angeles Rams.
“Yeah, it was a process,” Crosby explained. “I’ve never hurt anything my whole life, so, yeah. You use your hands every play as a d-lineman, so I had to adjust, get back in shape, so I’m feeling good now. We’re good.”
And good might be a bit of an understatement, as Crosby was constantly around the football Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium, even taking points off the board as he forced a Parris Campbell fumble that was recovered by teammate Karl Joseph deep in the Raiders’ territory, on a play that was eerily similar to the one he broke his hand on in August.
“Nah, it felt good,” Crosby said with a laugh when asked if it was a relief to punch a ball out and not come out any worse for the wear himself. “For sure. Turnovers are huge, and we got two today, so turnovers lead to wins. That was big.”
As Crosby alluded, the Raiders did indeed win the turnover battle Sunday afternoon, and although Paul Guenther’s group was unable to record a sack for the second week in a row, the defensive line as a whole did manage to put Jacoby Brissett under pressure throughout the 60-minute affair.
“I felt like we started slow a little bit, up front, and then as the game went on, we got better and better, and started getting more pressure,” Crosby said. “I felt like we played well. We have to get sacks, obviously, but getting pressure in his face, batting balls, stuff like that, is important too.”
Crosby continued, “He [Brissett] knows how to move in the pocket really well. He’s slippery, and yeah, he knows how to make plays, so we had to try and limit it as much as we can.”
Check out photos from the Raiders' regular season matchup against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Brissett finished his Week 4 outing with a trio of touchdowns, but an interception returned for touchdown late in the fourth quarter proved too much to overcome and was a big reason the Silver and Black flew out of Indianapolis across the pond to London with a big road win in tow.
“Indianapolis is a good team,” Crosby said. “They’ve been good for a long time, so coming into their place and getting a W is huge.”
With a 1-1 road trip thus far, the next test for Crosby and Co., comes in the form of a Week 5 clash with the Chicago Bears at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium in London.
After traveling to England Sunday night, the Silver and Black will return to their normal practice routine Wednesday in Watford.