Can Khalil Mack stay hot?
Dec 6, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) reacts after the Raiders were called for a neutral zone infraction against the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mack has been on a tear since Aldon Smith began his year long suspension, carrying the pass rush and dominating against the run. He’s registered four sacks in the last two games and on the season, Mack ranks 5th in the NFL in sacks with 9 and 3rd in the league in tackles for loss with 15.
Pro Football Focus only has J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald graded higher than Mack, meaning Khalil ranks as the best edge defender in their scoring system.
PFF has Justin Houston as the only pass rusher with more QB hurries (by 1) and no edge defender has as many stops as Mack.
In summary, Khalil is playing at an all-pro level and his numbers are starting to show the impact he has on games.
With Brock Osweiler being relatively fresh meat, it’ll be important to rattle him early.
Osweiler has thrown one interception in three of four games he’s played this season, so making it four out of five would go a long way to grabbing a win on Sunday.
Mack is a weekly focal point of opposing offenses, constantly facing double teams or getting help from the TE or a RB, but he still finds a way to be disruptive regardless.
He’s currently dealing with a knee injury and missed practice on Wednesday, but Mack said himself that he’ll be good to go.
Denver was able to keep Khalil relatively quiet the first time around. I doubt they’ll be able to do it twice.
Next: Can Oakland contain Emmanuel Sanders?