Mack and Irvin Must Take Advantage of the Jaguars’ Banged-Up Offensive Line
Entering the 2016 season, the Raiders’ front four led by edge-rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin was expected to dominate opposing offensive lines in the trenches when defending the run and attacking the quarterback.
This has not been the case.
Mack and Irvin have combined for just four of the team’s eight sacks this season, and opposing offenses are averaging 4.8 yards per carry and 132.2 yards per game on the ground.
The finger has been pointed at both Norton Jr. and the Raiders’ inexperienced, underwhelming linebackers, but it’s time Mack and Irvin start pointing the finger back at themselves.
Opposing offenses will continue to game plan against both edge-rushers and call for double-teams early and often. Both Mack and Irvin must fight through the expected adversity if they are going to ascend as the top edge-rushing duo in the league.
The two could take a step in that direction against an unhealthy Jaguars offensive line.
Jaguars left tackle Kelvin Beachum, a former Pittsburgh Steeler that has struggled with injuries over the course of his five-year NFL career, missed Thursday’s practice with a knee injury and is officially listed as questionable going into Sunday’s game.
Similarly, Jaguars right tackle Jeremy Parnell was limited in Thursday’s practice with a hip injury.
Even if both tackles are healthy enough to play on Sunday, Mack and Irvin should take advantage of their absence in practice and disrupt the Jaguars’ already struggling offense.
According to ESPN.com, Jacksonville has put together the 23rd ranked passing offense in terms of yards per attempt and ranks 31st in rushing yards per game.