Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack does not have a name for what would be considered the ultimate finishing move in a WWE ring.
You know, the one in which he sacks the quarterback, could be credited for a pass breakup, causes a fumble and recovers the ball … all in one fell swoop? Like what he did to the New York Giants’ Geno Smith last weekend and hopes to continue doing every time he steps on the field, continuing this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs’ Alex Smith at Arrowhead Stadium.
“That’s just determination, man,” Mack, the reigning NFL wholesale authentic nfl jerseys defensive player of the year, said Wednesday. “Teamwork, everybody working together. Pass rush and coverage. That’s it.”
In fact, Mack said earlier in the year that taking the ball away from quarterbacks mid-sack was his new goal.
“Why not?” he said with a smile.
Why not, indeed.
“Yeah, that’s crazy,” said defensive tackle Justin Ellis. “But that’s what he can do, though. That’s what he do. I mean, it don’t surprise me at all, but that’s a great play. Even he said it himself, ‘That’s a great play.’ He did, he said, ‘I must say, that’s a great play.'”
It was sack No. 7.5 for Mack, the team leader, and it ran his streak to three straight games with a sack, after only having .5 in his previous five games combined.
Yes, Mack is heating up, as is the rest of the Raiders pass rush. In its past two games, Oakland has eight sacks. Granted, against the likes of the Denver Broncos’ Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, and Geno Smith.
And, of course, in the wake of Ken Norton, Jr. being fired as defensive coordinator and replaced as defensive playcaller by John Pagano.
“We’re firing on all cylinders now,” said Ellis.
“We’ve been working on it all year, but now we’re just, I mean, it’s still just great effort. Playing fast, for the most part. Everybody’s playing fast, consistently, really.”
Ellis said gap and lane violations resulted in missed sacks earlier in the season.
Last year, though, Mack had 10 of his 11 sacks during his eight-game sack streak that ended with Game 13.
And as referenced earlier, the Raiders’ pass rush has come alive of late.
“What’s been the difference? There’s been a lot of things that correlate, man,” Mack said. “Rush and coverage working together. That’s what it really comes down to.”
And what about “playing faster,” as many have referenced, what does that mean, exactly?
“I mean, when you’re talking about lining up and playing ball, just knowing what the offense is going to do, and being ready for it,” Mack said. “That’s what it is, you feel me?”
Opposing quarterbacks have been feeling Mack of late, for sure.
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