“If We Wanna Win, We Gotta Take Him Down” – Maxx Crosby Promises To Play “Violent & Fast” Against Patrick Mahomes & The Chiefs

Maxx Crosby

The Las Vegas Raiders are entering a new era with former NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce as their new head coach. Pierce is bringing a gridiron warrior’s mentality to the franchise that’s been sorely lacking in recent years. There’s a certain edge to the Raiders that they need in order to dethrone the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.

Although their challenge in the division is even greater now with Jim Harbaugh coaching the Chargers, it’s Kansas City who has the proverbial target on their backs as the reigning back-to-back Super Bowl champs. Maxx Crosby is fully bought into what Pierce is preaching, to the point that he threatened to demand a trade if Pierce wasn’t promoted from interim coach to the full-time gig. Pierce was officially hired on the anniversary of the Tuck Rule Game. The Raiders haven’t been quite the same since that fateful day. Maybe it’ll be symbolic of a true changing of the guard.

Will this be a return to glory, or will Las Vegas’ team drown out amid all the other high-end entertainment in Sin City? If the Raiders don’t succeed in the coming years, it won’t be for a lack of determination on Crosby’s part. In a recent interview, Crosby made it clear that the Raiders are coming after Mahomes and the Chiefs:

“[Mahomes has] multiple MVPs and Super Bowls, and at the end of the day, if we wanna win, we gotta take him down. We’re not shy about that. He knows every time I’m playing, and every time I see him, I’m trying to ruin his day. That goes for everybody.

So yeah, people can take that whatever way they want, but he knows I’m coming for him. It’s the same. I’m on that energy every time, and I know my teammates are as well. It’s not malicious…people try to say we’re trying to purposely injure. Whatever, that’s a bunch of BS. We play the game the right way, but we play with ill intent and we play violent and fast. We plan on doing that for the years to come.”


Crosby is a beast who’s racked up 27 sacks and 45 tackles for loss in the past two seasons. He literally almost never leaves the field. A freak of freak among elite athletes who also has a relentless work ethic and has committed to sobriety for a number of years. Talk about unlocking your absolute maximum potential. For all the awful draft picks of the Jon Gruden-Mike Mayock era, their fourth-round flier on him in 2019 was one of the biggest steals in recent memory.

In 10 career games against the Chiefs, Crosby has seen his Raiders go just 2-8, while he’s managed 12 quarterback hits, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks. To get Mahomes to the ground is a staggering achievement in and of itself. Perhaps no one in the sport is better at extending plays out of the structure of the offense. Mahomes has only gotten sacked on 11.1% of dropbacks where he’s faced pressure in his career, per PFF. In other words, any given defender who gets a free shot at tackling Mahomes will fail about nine out of 10 times. That’s ridiculous. It’s also why the Raiders and every other team in the NFL has so much trouble beating Kansas City.

The 2023 season actually felt like one of the rare times the Chiefs were vulnerable in the Mahomes era. Crosby and Co. actually walked into Arrowhead Stadium and beat them 20-14 on Christmas Day, highlighted by Jack Jones’ pick-six.

No NFL team has much hope without a viable franchise QB. All due respect to Aidan O’Connell, he didn’t complete a single damn pass in the final three quarters of that victory. Speculation is swirling that Pierce, a former assistant coach at Arizona State, may reunite with Jayden Daniels, the projected No. 2 overall pick by many, including me.

The tricky thing is, it’d take a big move up from 13th overall in the draft in order for Las Vegas to acquire Daniels, the ex-Sun Devil who transferred to LSU and won the Heisman Trophy. Crosby actually addressed that, too, while holding court with the media, and praised Daniels’ skill set:

I’ve beaten the drum about offensive head coaches being the second-biggest indicator for long-term success and winning in the modern NFL, with the first being the presence of a high-level QB. Pierce can be as good of a head coach as he wants. If he can’t employ a high-end QB, no matter how effective Crosby and the defense are versus Mahomes, it won’t really mean much. They’ll still lose more often than not.

As long as Crosby and the Raiders don’t resort to dirty tactics, there’s nothing wrong with what he’s said about Mahomes. That mentality is necessary in such a physical, violent sport. The real question is, can Las Vegas shock the football world and actually get enough traction in the AFC West to be a real Super Bowl contender by knocking the Chiefs off on a more consistent basis? We’ll see if Christmas Day was a lightning-in-a-bottle aberration, or if these Pierce and Crosby-led Raiders are for real.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock