2. DEs Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones both total 10-plus sacks
Talk about a team that has had a major weakness for far too long? The Raiders have struggled on defense for more than a decade. And one of their biggest issues in recent years has been the inability to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Things got somewhat better in 2021 thanks to the free-agent addition of Yannick Ngakoue. He packed the club with 10 sacks and he and Maxx Crosby (8) combined for more than half of the club’s 35 quarterback traps – the Raiders’ highest total since 2015 (38).
And now it looks like the franchise has taken an even bigger step forward when it comes to this department thanks to free agency and a trade. Ngakoue was sent to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for promising cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. And on the same day, the Raiders signed former Patriots and Cardinals edge rusher Chandler Jones. The 10-year pro has racked up 107.5 QB traps in 10 seasons.
New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham should put Crosby and Jones to good use. You would have to go back to 2010 (47) when this club rolled up at least 40 sacks. That figures to happen this season, with both player coming up with double-digit totals when it comes to this statistic.