Stud - Raiders DE Malcolm Koonce
Aside from Jack Jones, the defensive player that has benefited the most from Antonio Pierce taking over is Malcolm Koonce. After recording just two sacks in the first 14 weeks of the season, Koonce has racked up five in the last two games including 3 on Patrick Mahomes
In the past few years the Raiders have been searching desperately for a pass rusher to pair with Maxx Crosby and made some expensive mistakes along the way. Turns out they had that guy in the building the whole time.
The former third round pick out of Buffalo has had a slow start to his career, but he has come alive in this final stretch of the season. The emergence of Koonce as a dominant edge rusher has also allowed the Raiders to move first round pick Tyree Wilson to the interior where he has been playing much better as well.
Koonce was terrorizing Patrick Mahomes all game long, and his 3 sack performance is one of the best we’ve seen all season. He also recorded four tackles for loss and four QB hits as he was camped out in the Kansas City backfield all game long. He continues to benefit from the attention Maxx Crosby is drawing and he should be able to feast the next two weeks against Indianapolis and Denver.