With a 17-13 win over the Broncos, the Raiders keep their playoff hopes alive.

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FIRST QUARTER: The kickoff is kicked off by the Broncos. The first quarter was scoreless.

SECOND QUARTER: Raiders Derek Carr threw a 10-yard touchdown throw to Hunter Renfrow to the left. EARLY IN THE QUARTER, THE RAIDERS WON 7 TO 0 THE BRONCOS.

Broncos Brandon McManus field goal, RAIDERS 7, BRONCOS 3 late in quarter.

Broncos RAIDERS 7, BRONCOS 6 late in the third quarter on a Brandon McMannus field goal.

Javonte Williams of the Broncos scored on a 1-yard run up the middle. RAIDERS 7, BRONCOS 13.

THIRD QUARTER: Peyton Barber scored on a 5-yard run to the left. Early in the third quarter, the Raiders lead the Broncos 14-13.

FOURTH QUARTER: Raiders Daniel Carlson kicked a field goal from 41 yards out. Midway through the third quarter, the Raiders lead the Broncos 17-13.

Maxx Crosby wasn’t popular in high school, battled with focus in college at Eastern Michigan, and went to treatment for alcoholism following a dismal rookie season with the Las Vegas Raiders.

It’s all coming together for the 24-year-old defensive end now that he’s in his third season.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs since I was a kid. In an interview with The Associated Press, Crosby said, “I was always struggling and striving for something that wasn’t really there.”

His statistics suggest that he’s gone a long way. Crosby has 17 quarterback knockdowns, 25 quarterback hits, and 36 quarterback pressures, which ties him for sixth in the NFL.

Crosby is the league’s second-best pass rusher, behind Cleveland’s Myles Garrett, and rates second among edge rushers, according to Pro Football Focus. This week, he was chosen to his first Pro Bowl.

“He genuinely is an example of what happens when you give without expecting anything in return,” Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “I think what’s most amazing about him is how much he offers to this team, his group, and our unit on a regular basis.”

Not bad for a fourth-round draft selection who, as a youngster in Colleyville, Texas (population: 27,000), wasn’t a star athlete and yearned for recognition since he wasn’t “the attractive person,” as he put it.

“I was always on the lookout for that.” Crosby admitted, “I struggled with that as a child.”

His prior battles with mental illness and alcoholism have helped him put his present accomplishments in context.

He remarked, “This business is harsh.” “It’s awful if you get overconfident, too high or too down. The most important thing for me is to keep focused on the day-to-day process and to improve on it every week.”

Crosby recognized that he’s improved his game, but the thrill he had the first time he sacked Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes has worn off. He doesn’t think about a huge play or a big game anymore.

He stated, “I’m always trying to attain new heights and new ambitions.”

Crosby stated that he has always thought he was capable of big things on and off the field. But he wasn’t sure how he’d attain those goals at Eastern Michigan.

It was then that he met his partner, Rachel Washburn, who he describes as the best coach he could have wanted for both on and off the field.

Crosby stated, “I had some issues early on in college, I was partying a lot, doing my thing, and I was just lost – she helped me rejuvenate my whole life.” “On the mental side of things, Mom was always encouraging me.” She was a great assistance to me because I was lost. She helped me go through a lot. She aided me in a variety of ways.”

Washburn was a Division I soccer player at Eastern Michigan and understands the pressures that come with being a Division I athlete. She assisted him with meal preparation and reminded him of his long-term objectives.

She eventually remained by him after he booked himself into rehab for drinking following his rookie season in 2019. Crosby returned to work after a mediocre second season, and he is experiencing a breakout year.

“My mental health is probably at its greatest point in my life,” he remarked. “Once I was at ease with my circumstances, I just kept working.” It’s all about my work ethic and my peace of mind. I’m always working on what I enjoy, which is football and the people in my life. I’m always refining my connections and honing my craft. As a result, I’m at ease. I’m at a fantastic spot right now. It’s never too late to get better. But I’m fortunate. That is something I am aware of.

“That’s the sort of man I am: I always want to conduct myself in a high esteem and simply be someone kids want to look up to and want to be like.” I’m going to do all I can to become the best version of myself, and as time passes, more effort is put in, and more wonderful things happen — that’s just the way it is.”

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