Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders
When: The star pass rusher forced two game-changing turnovers — a picksix, and a strip sack and fumble recovery — in the Raiders’ win over Carolina last weekend. Since bouncing back from a so-called slump this season, Mack leads the NFL with 60 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.
What’s up: A first-round draft pick in 2014, Mack has morphed into one of Oakland’s biggest stars and is a big reason the Raiders are finally good again. Last season, he was the first player in history to be selected all-pro first team at two positions — outside linebacker and defensive end.
Background: Mack ensured his name wouldn’t be one easily forgotten by Broncos fans. In a December 2015 game in Denver, he ripped through the Broncos’ offensive line to sack Brock Osweiler five times, tying Howie Long’s singlegame franchise record (1983).
Jhabvala’s take: Mack is the rare athlete in a league founded on rare athletes. Only three years into his NFL career, he has quickly become one of the top pass rushers — if not the best — in the game, besting even Von Miller according to some experts. In a division stacked with elite pass rushers, Mack continues to stand out and will, again, be one of the Broncos’ biggest obstacles in the final stretch of the season.
Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack scores a touchdown after intercepting a pass by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton last Sunday. Tony Avelar, The Associated Press