Although the Oakland Raiders defense didn’t start the season on the right foot, each week has demonstrated a certain progression in their schemes and production. Jack Del Rio’s defensive unit has executed key stops in late-game situations, with captain Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin wreaking havoc.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Mack has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Carolina Panthers. For the contest, he recorded six solo tackles, three quarterback hits, the pick-six, the strip sack and the fumble recovery.
This award is actually the second one Mack has received this month, after his dominating performance against the Denver Broncos.
Mack is currently dominating and finding his form, which is a great sight for defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Mack currently holds the longest active sack streak in the NFL, recording at least one in six consecutive contests.
His performance against the Panthers truly demonstrated how unique the 25-year-old is, as he did something that hasn’t been done since Charles Woodson did so in 2009. He became the first player since Woodson to record an interception, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown all in the same game.
Mack put his stamp on the contest against the Panthers, sealing the victory for the team. With the Raiders up by three points, the Panthers were driving down the field, reaching midfield with under a minute left.
Quarterback Cam Newton wasn’t going for the points, but for the victory. On the snap, Newton stayed in the pocket, attempting to find an open receiver, with the pass rush closing in. While on Newton’s strong side, Mack bull rushed past the lineman and swung his hand towards Newton.
He made immediate contact with the football, causing it to hit the ground. Mack promptly fell on the ball, sealing the Raiders 35-32 victory. After becoming All-Pro at two different positions, Mack is surely attempting to top the historic season he had in 2015, as the Raiders have their sights set on the postseason.