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Pressure from Raiders’ defensive line was a key victory over the Broncos

Interim coach Rich Bisaccia praises the effort from up front

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NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
Maxx Crosby
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Las Vegas Raiders’ biggest offseason objectives paid off big time on Sunday in an emotional win over the Denver Broncos.

The Raiders pressured Denver quarterback Teddy Bridgewater constantly, forcing him into throwing three interceptions and losing one fumble in a 34-24 Las Vegas victory. The Raiders had five sacks, including three from defensive end Maxx Crosby. He had 12 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, which counted four different defensive lineman with at least four of Las Vegas’ 33 pressures on Sunday.

In addition to Crosby, new Raiders defensive linemen Yannick Ngakoue, Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson, and holdover Carl Nassib, were extremely active in the game.

Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
Solomon Thomas, Carl Nassib
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Interim Las Vegas coach Rich Bisaccia said the new-look defensive front is really showing up.

“Obviously, some key acquisitions in free agency getting Yannick [Ngakoue] and certainly getting Q [Quinton Jefferson] and Solomon [Thomas]. They’re a great group together and we’re just building off of what we had to some degree, but those guys have added not only a veteran dimension but a size and a quickness and a urgency to practice and a urgency in meetings and they do everything right in the weight room,” BIsaccia said.

“So, I think they’ve given us a little bit of an identity up front of what it’s supposed to look like from walk through to meeting to practice and now into the game, and they feed off of each other. So, I think it’s been a good identity for us as we go forward on defense.”

Bisaccia gave credit to his defensive coaching staff for getting the group ready on Sunday, and for their contributions and improvement all season.

“I think that’s coach [Rod] Marinelli and coach [Gus] Bradley’s concept about not only do the sacks come in bunches but the turnovers come in bunches,” Bisaccia said. “We went a few weeks without a turnover. All of a sudden, we come up in the plus four category.

Multiple-sack game that Maxx went through and the big sack in the fourth quarter by Q was actually a big help to us as well, and if you look at the games that they’re running you can’t discard what Yannick is doing on the outside. He takes a lot of attention. I think it’s their group. It’s Coach Marinelli, it’s Coach Bradley. Everything comes in bunches. I think they are just kind of living off that and feeding off of that.”