(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Raiders' defensive end Maxx Crosby had a standout performance in the win over the Ravens on Monday night, as he compiled six total tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss and five quarterback hits. Crosby was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his showing against Baltimore.
Alejandro Villanueva had such a poor outing against Crosby that many Ravens fans were questioning the signing of the former Steelers tackle. It was similar to how Villanueva got dominated by Carl Lawson last year on Monday Night in Cincinnati.
It will be interesting to see how Steelers' right tackle Chuks Okorafor does against Crosby on Sunday at Heinz Field. On paper, it's a favorable matchup for Crosby, as Okorafor wasn't impressive in the preseason and struggled against the Bills at times this past Sunday.
Okorafor better be on his A-game or Crosby will be a headache for 39-year-old quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all game. And Roethlisberger is well aware of Crosby, as he went to a MAC school, as well. Crosby went to Eastern Michigan, which is also the alma mater of Charlie Batch. And, of course, Roethlisberger went to Miami of Ohio.
"Nothing surprises me because he's from the MAC," Roethlisberger joked when asked about Crosby's talents. "That's where the best football players come from."
On a more serious note, Roethlisberger knows that the offense will have their hands full with Crosby on Sunday, especially after seeing what he and the rest of the Raiders' defensive line displayed on Monday night.
"He's a stud," Roethlisberger said. "You watch what he did, that whole defense, their pass rush. Just watching the game, you don't see a lot of blitzes. It's not like they're doing a lot of crazy things. They're just rushing four guys and their four rushers are really good. And they count on those four to be disruptive in both the pass and run game.
"They let their backend kind of just benefit off of quarterbacks having to get rid of the ball quickly. They like to ball search. They get the ball out quickly when they have to from the quarterback."