Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The Oakland Raiders have two terrific pass rushers in Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Mack had five sacks in a single game last year and showed why he was highly coveted coming out of the 2014 Draft. Mack was so dominant in 2015 he finished second in the league in sacks with 15 on the year. That was only topped by JJ Watt with 17.5 sacks, so that lets you know just how good of a player Khalil Mack truly is. This guy has a thousand different ways to beat opposing offense lineman and is as good as anyone right now in the league at rushing the passer. The Raiders weren’t content with just Mack either. They decided to go out this off-season and add another pass rusher to make their defense that much more potent. Eventually Oakland signed Bruce Irvin away from the Seahawks and Irvin is quite the pass rusher himself. Irvin finished the 2015 season 5.5 sacks and will do a great job of providing additional pressure next to Mack. Irvin has had 22 sacks over his 4 year career so you know you’re going to get those 5 sacks a year from him. That was good enough for the Raiders and together the tandem will help give the Raiders the best chance to win the AFC West in a long time. Expect to see Mack and Irvin both firing into offensive backfields on special blitz packages that send both players. That would be overwhelming for opposing offensive lineman and it’s going to be a nightmare on quarterbacks. You can almost certainly guarantee that the Raiders will have a defender in the qb’s face on every play and that is such a huge asset to have for a football team. In today’s era pass rushers are worth their weight in gold and luckily for the Raiders they have two players who can make some magic happen. Expect Oakland to be a much improved team in 2016.
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