The 2023 NFL season finished out with the Las Vegas Raiders missing out on the playoffs, a common theme across the last 20-plus seasons. In that time, the Raiders have been to the playoffs only twice, once back in 2016 when Derek Carr was injured on Christmas Eve, and then in 2021, when Rich Bisaccia led them on an incredible run across the final four games of the season.
In that time, we have seen some incredible players put on the Silver and Black, one of which would go on to be named the AP's Defensive Player of the Year. Khalil Mack dominated the football landscape during the 2016 season, his third in the NFL, and in 2023, the hope is that Maxx Crosby can follow suit in Year 4.
Crosby was named by the Associated Press as a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year honor on Thursday, and is now one step away from winning the award for the first time in his career. Crosby put together another remarkable season in the Silver and Black in 2023, racking up 14.5 sacks, and finishing second in the NFL with 23 tackles for a loss.
Raiders star has tough competition for DPOY honor
Crosby has stiff competition for the award this year, as fellow defensive end Myles Garrett is up for it, and was named first-team All-Pro over him in 2023. DaRon Bland is the only cornerback listed in the top-5, while linebackers TJ Watt and Micah Parsons are also finalists.
For Crosby, this is just another indicator that he is one of the best in the game, and he is finally starting to get some national recognition. He is the kind of player who comes to work every day and plays through pain, as evident by him being active after being listed as doubtful for the Kansas City Chiefs game late in the season.
Even if Crosby does not win, he is undoubtedly the cornerstone of this defense, and one of the best to put on the Silver and Black in quite some time.