The Raiders were running out of bodies. But they were able to keep Philip Rivers on the run.
While they were short on numbers because of injuries, the Raiders were able to keep constant pressure on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throughout last night’s win.
They sacked Rivers five times, and hit him 10 times. They did it after putting defensive end Arden Key on IR, and without veteran Josh Mauro because of a groin injury.
“We started getting pressure on him right from the start of the game, and that was it,” rookie Clelin Ferrell said, via Scott Bair of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “We knew they were going to be passing the ball and they weren’t going to have much time, so we pinned our ears back and went after it.”
The job largely fell to Ferrell, fourth-round rookie Maxx Crosby, and journeyman Benson Mayowa, though linebacker Kyle Wilber was conscripted into service at times. Ferrell led the way with 2.5 sacks, the kind of production they anticipated when they drafted him fourth overall.
That kind of pressure was also a factor in the three interceptions Rivers threw (along with two called back because of penalties).
“He’s a great quarterback,” Crosby said. “The thing with him is that you have to be in his face all game and try to get him flustered. I thought we did a good job of that. We kept coming all game, until the final whistle blew. It was huge.”
For a team that had just 13 sacks last season, it’s an impressive turnaround.