Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 8 (CLE)
By Evan Ball
Khalil Mack’s Dominance
Reggie McKenzie, or whatever new GM Oakland ends up with after this season should go straight up to Khalil Mack and tell him that they will built a defense entirely around him, structured to be the best they can be while allowing him to shine to the maximum. Mack’s going to be a star in this league. The way he’s been able to man-handle veteran players over and over again this early in his career has been spectacular. Management needs to do everything they can to keep him in Oakland past his rookie contract.
Credit: NFL Game Rewind
Khalil Mack simply abuses Cleveland TE Jordan Cameron on this play. Apparently, Cleveland wasn’t ready enough for Mack early in the game because the blocking assignments didn’t give their tight ends much help in the first quarter. On this play Cleveland comes out in 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) and motions Cameron in to help block in the zone run. Oakland uses their base 4-3 defense (4 DLs, 3 LB, 4 DBs) in an “under” alignment (defensive line shifted toward the weak side, linebackers rotate toward strong side) in man-free (single deep safety, man coverage underneath) coverage. Khalil Mack bursts off the line and shoves Cameron directly into the back field then easily tosses him aside to tackle RB Ben Tate in the backfield for a loss. Notice Cleveland’s #40 on the play. He doesn’t touch Mack as he runs by him to make a block. Later, they adjusted this to make sure that the running back in his position would “clip” Mack (make contact to help with the block) before moving to their main assignment.