Throughout this offseason, the Raiders used the number 13 as a rallying cry.
That was the NFL-low number of sacks Oakland recorded in 2018, one of the big reasons the team went 4-12. In the team’s weight room, a big No. 13 was displayed, as a reminder to every defensive player.
And, in team practices, coaches – especially defensive line coach Brentson Buckner -- constantly brought up the number.
“The coaches keep reiterating that, and it’s something that we look at as a challenge,” said rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby back in June.
It looks like that focus is paying off.
In the Raiders’ season-opening 24-16 victory over the visiting Denver Broncos Monday night, the re-made Raiders defensive front had three sacks and four quarterback hits.
Benson Mayowa had two sacks and No. 1 pick Clelin Ferrell, at defensive end, had his first.
“I don’t want to hear about 13 no more,” Mayowa told Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com after the game. “We got three. All we need is 10 more, and that’s three in one game, so we just have to keep stacking. Next time we get four. Next time we get five.
“We did a good job today, and we just have to keep stopping the run so we can get into passing situations, and every passing situation we get in, that’s how we get sacks. That’s what we’re looking forward to.”
The Raiders, 1-0, now turn their attention to another AFC West rival when they take on the visiting 1-0 Chiefs this coming Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.