Through the first 10 games of the the NFL season, the Raiders racked up just 14 sacks. Despite having one of the games best edge rushers in Khalil Mack, Oakland was not able to pressure the quarterback.
But the last two weeks have been a different story, as the Raiders piled up eight sacks over the last two games.
“It’s definitely been what we’re looking for,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “The guys are cutting it loose and playing a little more aggressively.”
Denico Autry and Bruce Irvin have padded the stats, as each has snagged three sacks in the last two games. And getting that type of play from someone that isn’t Mack is the key.
In the first 10 games of the season, teams could double team Mack all game and not face pressure from anywhere else on the field.
No one was taking advantage of favorable matchups when offenses took Mack out of plays. But now Autry and irvin have arrived in the backfield.
But Mack is still the star. He still makes the biggest plays like when he saved the Raiders points near the end of the first half against the Giants.
The Raiders had just turned the ball over by allowing punter Marquette King to be tackled inside the 10 yard line. With the first half nearly over, Mack made sure that mistake didn’t cost his team.
If the Raiders can continue to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks, they might start forcing more turnovers and winning more games in the push for the playoffs.
Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.