Last week, Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr said of his elite pass rusher Khalil Mack "He's a fantastic player and he's only getting better. What you see now is just a scratch of the surface of what he's capable of." Mack had 2.0 sacks in each of his previous two games. And as it turns out -- that's nuthin'!
The first player in this game to get a sack was Broncos elite pass rusher Von Miller. That gave him 10.0 sacks with six of those sacks coming in the past five games. A fine accomplishment. Worthy of praise.
At the end of the first half, Mack was still without a sack. Midway through the third quarter, he would get on the board with his first sack. Stop me if you've heard this one, but that gave Mack 10.0 sacks on the season with six of those sacks coming in the past five games.
At that time, we applauded Mack reaching double digit sacks. He was the first Raiders pass rusher to reach double digit sacks in nearly a decade when Derrick Burgess led the team with 11.0 sacks. It also moved Mack out of a tie for 7th in the league to sole possession of seventh.
Little did we know what was in store.
At the end of the third quarter Mack got his second sack. This one resulted in a strip in the end zone giving the Raiders a safety.
Mack would add three more sacks, all in the fourth quarter, including on their final drive to help secure the Raiders secure their 15-12 lead
That gave Mack 5.0 sacks in the game. That ties a Raiders' franchise single game record -- first set by Howie Long in 1983. It also gave Mack the league lead for sacks with 14.0. He moved ahead of reigning Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt and Ezekial Ansah who were tied for the top spot with 13.5 sacks.
Watt plays tonight, giving him a chance to take back the league lead. But who really cares? Right now the lead belongs to Khalil Mack after his absolute monster 5.0 sack game today to help the Raiders knock off the formerly top seeded Broncos. It doesn't get much better than that.
We are witnessing greatness here, folks. Drink it in.