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The one player on the Raiders that can wreck the 49ers game plan

Crosby, Maxx

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Even though the Raiders are going to be missing some of their best players on Sunday, they still have edge rusher Maxx Crosby, who is one of the best defensive players in the entire league. Limiting his effectiveness is going to be job number one for the 49ers offensive line this week.

Here’s how Run Game Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Chris Foerster described Crosby yesterday.

“He’s one of the best players we’ve faced all year. I think Kyle might have mentioned earlier in the week that Aaron Donald and this guy probably present the most problems. He presents problems rushing the passer, he presents problems in the run game.

He rushes the passer as well as most of the elite edge rushers in the league. He presents a unique style. He’s hard to get your hands on. In the run game he’s kind of like JJ Watt a little bit. He can swim around blocks and still make plays. So it’s not only that he’s really talented and really good, it’s unconventional, so you don’t see it every week.

That does create issues for whoever has to block him, so you have to come up with plans and things you want to try do to limit the amount of opportunities he has to exhibit all that stuff.”

Most of the time, the person that’s going to have to block him is right tackle Mike McGlinchey, which is definitely going to be a challenge. To his credit, McGlinchey has been playing well recently - even with broken ribs. According to PFF, McGlinchey has allowed just eight pressures and no sacks in his last seven games. Still, as the saying goes, the defense gets paid, too, and he has to guard against letting things snowball after a bad play.

“I think I have thick skin now,” McGlinchey told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I don’t know if I did early [in my career].”

Foerster also said yesterday that Mike has made a lot of progress on the mental side of the game, steeling himself against spiraling after something bad happens. That progress will be put to the test against Las Vegas.

If Crosby is anything like Raiders fans, he’s going to have something to prove on Sunday. There’s a very vocal contingent of Raiders Nation that thinks Crosby is just as good, if not better, than Nick Bosa. Week 17 will be Maxx’s opportunity to prove it.

Hear more about this and other stories in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Our five minute daily update gives you the latest news, best audio clips, and everything else you need to know about the team. Subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network today so you don’t miss an episode!