Khalil Mack is going to be severely missed this season
It was obvious that the Raiders defense was going to miss Khalil Mack this season. His departure left a gaping hole in the Raiders pass rush. They simply just don’t have the players to platoon his presence and it was felt last night. Aside from Bruce Irvin‘s one sack, the pass rush was nonexistent.
Overall, there were only five, I repeat five total pressures generated by this pass rush. Khalil Mack himself had six total pressures against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. These pass rushers played very poor to say the least. No one was able to standout and make a name for themselves in this game. The excitement that was garnered from the preseason with the rookie defensive linemen quickly evaporated in this game.
It’s not so easy now that they’re actually playing against starters full time. It also didn’t help that Paul Guenther hardly called any blitzes to cause confusion against the Rams offensive line.
Guenther had the defensive line pretty much try to win their one on one match ups all game. That’s a game plan that would be perfect if they actually had Khalil Mack still. That was his means of pressure, which clearly didn’t workout. It’s not like the Rams offensive line is weak.
Throwing a blitz here and there in the mix would’ve helped the young players. The Rams knew what Guenther was doing, yet Guenther kept with the same game plan for his pass rush. This game just screamed for a playmaker in the pass rush department.
We’re going to be reminded all season long about the absence of Mack whether we like it or not. There is no “getting over it” when it comes to the biggest trade in NFL history. For the rookies on the defensive line, I won’t knock them for this performance.
It’s just one game against one of the best teams in the league. Now they film to see what they did wrong and what worked well. I’d expect their performances to start showing in the coming weeks.