With the 2021 NFL season basically at the mid-season point, it’s time to focus on individual awards and Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive end Maxx Crosby has to be considered a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Other candidates around the NFL includes pass rushers Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns and T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Crosby may not be among the league leaders in sacks, he has been one of the more consistent pass-rushers in the NFL this year and he has the look of a DPOY candidate.
Of course, former Raiders’ pass rusher Khalil Mack won the NFL Defensive of Player of the Year award after the 2016 season. I thought it would be fun to compare Crosby’s 2021 stats to Mack’s 2016 stats using Pro Football Reference’s numbers.
Mack’s 2016 season:
Mack, who was traded to the Chicago Bears in 2018, had 11 sacks, 73 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 26 quarterback hits, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a pick six. It was a hell of season by the third-year player.
Crosby’s 2021 season:
The 2019 fourth-round pick is also having a huge third NFL season. With nine games remaining (2016 was a 16-game season), Crosby five sacks, 21 tackles, five tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hits. He hasn’t forced a fumble nor does he have an interception. But Crosby’s pass-rush prowess has been spectacular.
Yannick Ngakoue’s 2021 stats:
The Raiders’ 2021 free-agent prize has six sacks, 17 tackles, four tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits and a forced fumble. He has had two sacks in three of the past four Raiders’ games.
The Raiders are getting great pass-rush production from this pair in 2021.