Meat-Eater Match Up: Steelers-Raiders, Week 3

This week’s Meat-Eater Matchup brings us the high-voltage defensive end of the Raiders, Maxx Crosby, and his numerous tattoos, taking on both Steelers offensive tackles as he revs up and plays both sides for Sunday night’s Raiders-Steelers brawl.

Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in a little on the light side at 255-pounds, this raptor-like defender is electrifying to watch. Seemingly outsized by many OT’s, Crosby has a motor that just doesn’t quit. When he engages an opponent, it almost feels like a death match, such is the intensity he brings to every physical confrontation.

Crosby is coming off his finest year as a pro in 2022. Registering 12.5 sacks, to go along with 36 QB hits and 22 tackles for loss, he is a disruptive force that must be accounted for on every play.

Extremely fluid in his pass-rushing style, Crosby is another of those speed-to-power rushers that use quick get-off speed and translate that into a powerful force crashing into the opponent trying to block him. And when that “force meets force” as it inevitably will, Crosby’s backup moves are linked together in such a way that it looks and feels more like several moves, rather than just one.

When Crosby meets a greater, stronger force in an opponent that stuffs him on a pass rush, or even if he’s setting the edge on a run play, he doesn’t stop. Crosby is proficient in looking for a weak edge on the offensive lineman blocking him and will throw uppercuts and swim moves or hand traps trying to disengage almost non-stop until the play is over or he’s found the edge he needs. Obviously, he is a superb effort guy and dangerous until the echo of the whistle.

Crosby is particularly smooth using a hand trap to uppercut move, where he will give the tackle the idea that he’s going to try to run right through him, only at the last second trying to knock the OT’s hands down. This works because of the offensive tackle is setting up for bull rush.

In a sweeping move after knocking down the tackles hands, he will take that motion and turn it into an uppercut, thereby turning the OT into a human turnstile because the anticipated car crash with Crosby didn’t happen. It’s a slick move that both Dan Moore and Chuks Okorafor will have to contend with. Fortunately for them, T.J. Watt has the same move and a little extra study after practice would be beneficial for them both.

Fortunately for the Steelers, there’s not a Robin to go along with this Batman, such as the Steelers have with Watt and Alex Highsmith. Special attention can be appropriated to Crosby.

To successfully defeat the Raiders, Crosby has to be accounted for with the proverbial hat on a hat on every play.

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