All the talk about quarterback Derek Carr bouncing back this week was for not. He had a 64-yard touchdown toss to speedster Johnny Holton but wasn’t great overall. He was actually pretty pedestrian outside of that play until he got hurt in the second half.
At the same time, he isn’t getting a whole lot of help from his receivers. Michael Crabtree was unable to get over his chest injury enough to play at all. Amari Cooper had problems catching the ball again as did tight end Jared Cook. And the offensive line, supposedly the best in the league coming into the season, wasn’t so good. Not only was there pressure on Carr but they couldn’t get the running game going.
And early in the game, it didn’t look like the defense would be able to keep them in it. Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian was throwing it around the yard and running back C.J. Anderson was having his way.
Then Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack took over the game on defense to keep it close. He was as disruptive as it gets with pressures, run stuffs and sacks.
On the day, Mack had seven tackles, three for a loss, seven pressuers, four quarterback hits and 2.0 sacks. His 85.2 Pro Football Focus grade is second among edge defenders so far this week.
One of those sacks was a bull rush over former teammate Menelik Watson. The other kept the Raiders in the game as the Broncos were in the red zone late in the third quarter.
Mack is clearly showing that he’s still the most dominant defensive player in the game. And Mario Edwards Jr. seems to be the only guy helping him with any consistency. All while the offense that is supposed to be explosive has been imploding the last two games.
Mack can make up for a lot of flaws, but if the Raiders are going to win again this year, he needs some help.