Khalil Mack vs. Von Miller
The Raiders (12-4) also finished with a better record than the Denver Broncos (9-7) this year and split the season-series with their AFC West rivals, and again, this is not an irrelevant distinction.
Denver once again had one of the top defenses in the league this year (4th, 316.1 YPG) which vastly outperformed Oakland’s (26th, 375.1 YPG) — a point that potentially works to Mack’s disadvantage, and was still better than the Raiders defense from Week 3 and on, when Oakland ranked 18th (extrapolated across the entire season and compared to other teams 16 game totals) (354.7 YPG) and Denver ranked 5th (319.3).
Miller also played in all 16 games and was the leader on one of the league’s best defenses. He recorded all 13.5 of his sacks between Weeks 1 and 13 but never had more than three straight games with at least one sack, whereas Mack had an all-time great streak of games with a sack (10). Disregarding his three-sack performance against the Indianapolis Colts, who allowed the fifth most sacks in the league, Miller only had 10.5 sacks (fewer than Mack).
Denver’s top defender only forced three fumbles, recovering none of them, compared to Mack’s 5 and 3, respectively. Two other Denver “in-the-box” defenders had 2 forced fumbles but their 7 total doesn’t compare favorably to Mack and Irvin’s 11 combined.
Miller had no interceptions or pick-six’s on the season (as Mack did).
He also put no games on ice with a sack or turnover (see Mack weeks 12 & 13).