While the two other matchups on the edge between Brian Orakpo and Donald Penn and the one between Bruce Irvin and Taylor Lewan are terrific, this one between Khalil Mack and Jack Conklin is the best in this Week 1 game between the Raiders and the Titans.
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Mack is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He is the Raiders’ best player and is seen as a top-five player in the game today, regardless of position. Mack earned an absurd 95.2 rating from PFF in his third year in the league out of Buffalo. We throw this phrase around a lot, but Mack is the definition of elite.
Trying to block him might be the best young right tackle in the game in Conklin. While many saw the Titans take Conklin in somewhat of a panic move in the 2016 NFL Draft because of that whole Laremy Tunsil gas mask situation, Conklin proved to be the best player at his position in football.
Conklin earned an 88.6 rating by PFF in his first year in the league out of Michigan State. He was named to the All-Pro team as a rookie. His rise to prominence in 2016 had the Titans right up there with the Cowboys and Raiders as the best offensive lines in football.
In football, it’s all about being the best. It’s hard to pick a better pass rusher and offensive tackle matchup on the right side than we are getting out of Mack and Conklin on Sunday afternoon. Get excited for this one, Raider Nation! Football is back!