The Las Vegas Raiders took down the Baltimore Ravens in overtime in Week 1. The offense, defense, and special teams all produced memorable moments, but a few Raiders stood out from beginning to end.
DE Maxx Crosby
Third-year captain Maxx Crosby was a force from the first drive. Crosby showed no hesitation as he rushed QB Lamar Jackson, making his presence known each play. “Mad Maxx” ended the night with 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and 13 QB pressures, the most from any defender in Week 1.
Crosby had previously stated he was ready for the “biggest season of his career” after working hard this offseason. The 2019 pick spent the offseason working with new Raider Yannick Ngakoue, forming an elite partnership and preparing to take over the NFL. The two were impressive on Monday as they dominated their first regular season game together.
WR Hunter Renfrow
Raiders 2019 fifth-round pick Hunter Renfrow showed in Week 1 that he is back and better than ever. Renfrow finished with 6 receptions for 70 yards.
Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey was tasked with covering Renfrow the majority of the game, but Renfrow has held his own against top coverage time and time again. “Third and Renfrow” lives to see another season.
With the free agency signing of WR Willie Snead, Raider Nation wasn’t sure who would see the majority of snaps in the slot and short game. Hunter Renfrow answered that question Monday. You don’t substitute him for anyone when you have a guy as reliable and uncoverable as Hunter Renfrow.
K Daniel Carlson
Said before, Daniel Carlson is the Raiders latest exceptional kicker. Carlson ended the game 2 for 2 in field goals and making all three PAT attempts. With :07 on the clock in the 4th quarter, the Raiders needed a 55-yard field goal. No problem. Carlson nails the field goal 55 yards through the uprights, sending the game to overtime.
This season, the Raiders should have no problem sealing PAT attempts and field goals, and Daniel Carlson just proved that. After a record-breaking 2020 season, Carlson looks ready to repeat his success. Carlson is a reliable kicker that Jon Gruden knows he can lean on in close games.
DE Carl Nassib
Topping the list of Monday’s inactives, much to the surprise of many, was third-year veteran DE Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell was the #4 overall pick in the 2019 draft by the Raiders. After starting for two seasons, he was replaced in the offseason by DE Yannick Ngakoue.
After an appearance on the injury report but no updates from Gruden, Raider Nation expected to see Ferrell suited up for Monday Night Football. Ferrell’s inactive status left some wondering if he was a healthy scratch for Monday’s game. Fans are now questioning his status on the team.
After captain Yannick Ngakoue went down with a hamstring injury in the 4th quarter, the DE position was left in the hands of Maxx Crosby and Carl Nassib. Crosby was up to the challenge, but what about Nassib?
Nassib quickly answered that question with a forced fumble for a Raiders recovery. Nassib had shown out with a sack on Lamar previously in the game, but this play was a game-changer for Nassib and the Raiders.
With Ferrell inactive and Ngakoue hurt, will the Raiders be leaning on Nassib more in week 2? He seemed up to the challenge on a new and improved Raiders defense in Week 1.
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