- Tarrian Rodgers
Raiders DE Yannick Ngakoue wins AFC Defensive Player of the Week
The Raiders defense have taken a quantum leap so far this season. The Raiders achilles heel for the last four or five years was generating a pass rush. The Raiders have struggled in that area since trading Khalil Mack to the Bears.
Raiders no longer have that problem; they may have arguably the best defensive line in football and one of those members has been awarded with an AFC Defensive Player of the Week.. Sunday against the Eagles, Yannick Ngakoue had his best game as a Raider. He was a force to be reckoned with. His numbers jumped off the stat sheet with two sacks, two tackles for loss, two QB hits, and two pass breakups.
Ngakoue is now second on the team with four sacks, his partner in crime on the other side Maxx Crosby leads the team with five sacks. Crosby also leads the NFL in QB hits and hurries; the duo has been in a healthy competition with each other to help bolster each other's performance week in and week out.
“We always compete with each other,” Ngakoue said of he and Crosby. “From our get-offs to how clean we eat, all the way to how much extra work we put in after practice. If you watch the practice, we’re the last two guys to leave. Always notice him looking at me and trying to figure out how he can compete and I’m always looking at him to figure out how I can compete. That’s what I love about him. He’s a guy that busts his ass every day, I see a lot of myself in him, and that’s why he’s having tremendous success.”
Each and every week the Raiders defense seems to be getting better but their defensive line has been a huge key to their early season success.