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Versus: Maxx Crosby, Tyree Wilson look to be driving forces in Motor City

The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to rebound from a 30-12 Week 7 loss to the Chicago Bears.

They'll be back on the road against a Detroit Lions team that's also looking to rebound following a tough loss. Despite falling 38-6 to the Baltimore Ravens, the Lions have shaped into a threat in the NFC, starting the season 5-2 off the backs of Head Coach Dan Campbell, Pro Bowler Jared Goff and a hard-nosed defense.

As America will be tuned in for the primetime contest, this could be a good opportunity for the Raiders to regain momentum with a win. However in order to do that, they'll need to hone in on these three key matchups.

Tyree Wilson vs. Jared Goff

The Raiders are starting to see production from their first-round pick Tyree Wilson.

The edge rusher is still in the process of getting adjusted to the NFL, missing some time in Training Camp while recovering from a foot injury. After a bit of a slow start to his NFL career, he's progressed on a game-by-game basis. Since Week 4, Wilson has totaled six total tackles and two quarterback hits. He's coming off his best professional game to date, with his first career sack and a forced fumble against the Chicago Bears. His 82.9 defensive grade from Pro Football Focus was the highest of any Raiders defender from Week 7.

"[I'm] happy for Tyree to get the reward," defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said on Wilson's first NFL sack. "Again, that's not the main thing. Obviously, he's set the edge for us in the run game. He's been able to provide pressure in the pass rush, he's dropped when we need him to drop."

The progression of Wilson must continue this Monday as he lines up across from Goff. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is in the midst of what seems to be a career year. He's currently top five in the league in passing yards (1,902) and completions (174) with an 11:4 touchdown to interception ratio. He's also led the Lions to their first 5-2 start to a season since 2011.

"How he's delivering the ball, he's finding the guys in the right spot," Graham said of Goff. "He's able to reach different spots on the field and you can see that and the growth. Again, it's year eight for him. I'm saying the growth from the last time I faced him was a long time ago, but just you see the maturity as a quarterback. He's comfortable in the pocket, he's comfortable making checks at the line of scrimmage."

Maxx Crosby vs. Penei Sewell

While on the topic of rushing the quarterback, Maxx Crosby will be on the other side of Wilson causing havoc.

Crosby continues to place himself into Defensive Player of the Year conversations, as his 43 quarterback pressures lead the league among edge rushers. Through seven games, he leads the Raiders in sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (nine) and quarterback hits (nine).

As Crosby is gaining attention for being one of the best in the game, he'll line up against one of the league's rising star offensive tackles Penei Sewell. The former Oregon Duck was selected with the seventh pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and has become a key contributor to Goff's success as a Lion. The third-year tackle, coming off his first Pro Bowl selection in 2022, hasn't missed a game in his career. He hasn't allowed a sack in 284 pass blocking snaps this season, earning a top 10 PFF pass blocking grade (84.2) among offensive tackles.

The Lions offense is fueled by the success of Goff and the physical offensive line in front of him. If Crosby can dominate, the Raiders defense could have an impressive outing.

Raiders right tackles vs. Aidan Hutchinson

Behind Crosby, the second in the league in quarterback pressures among edge rushers is Aidan Hutchinson.

The Lions' first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft has become the focal point of this defense, helping turn things around for the entire unit. They've allowed the third fewest amount of rushing yards this season and have totaled 15 quarterback sacks. Hutchinson has accounted for 4.5 of those sacks with an interception, two fumble recoveries and four pass deflections also to his name.

On film, Hutchinson and Crosby strike a few similarities. While the Lions edge rusher is a stockier 268 pounds at 6-foot-7, his finesse moves off the line of scrimmage with an insanely high motor brings him into the same company as the Raiders' elite edge rusher.

"Hutchinson sums them up as a whole unit – they're aggressive and they all play with a high motor," said offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi. "They want to get to the football, they take pride in it. They tackle really well. ... Hutchinson, he does a good job of that. That's kind of his M.O., and he's a really good player. He's a good player on the edge in both the running and passing game."

It will take a village to block Hutchinson on Monday night, with right tackles Thayer Munford Jr. and Jermaine Eluemunor preparing for the challenge. While Eluemunor still takes the majority of team snaps at right tackle, Munford has earned three starts this season. The second-year tackle has allowed only three quarterback pressures on the season.

"Every player that I would say makes their way into the Sunday lineup or Sunday rotation is consistent in practice," Lombardi said. "Thayer did a good job of that in the spring, and then Training Camp, of playing at a consistent basis both in pass protection and in the run game. So, he's earned that play time. ... And Jermaine has played well enough to still earn the opportunity to play as well, which is why you see the rotation there at right tackle with both those guys."

View the best photos from practice at Intermountain Health Performance Center before the Silver and Black travel to Detroit for their Week 8 matchup against the Lions.

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