When the Texans take the field against the Raiders on Monday night, they will face one of the best young defensive players in the NFL in Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack.
“I think the first thing when you turn on the tape with Khalil that jumps out is just his motor,” Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler said Thursday. “He never stops.”
Mack has steadily improved since being selected by the Raiders as the 5th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. While the Texans decided on Jadeveon Clowney that year, some believed that Mack was the one with the brighter future.
“He’s definitely going to hit your quarterback,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s the mindset that he has. That’s how he does it. He’s definitely going to be back there causing havoc.”
Since 2014, Mack has picked up 145 tackles and 26 sacks. This season, in 9 games, those numbers sit at 29 tackles overall with 7 sacks.
“You know, any time you play against a player like Khalil Mack, you need to respect what he brings to the table,” Osweiler said. “You need to have answers for what he brings to the table.”
Osweiler has experience going up against Mack as the two faced last year when the Texans quarterback was in Denver.
“We’re very fortunate to have a phenomenal offensive coaching staff here, led by Coach (George) Godsey and Coach (Bill) O’Brien,” Osweiler said. “I’m sure they’ll have answers for him. But without a question, we are well aware of what Khalil Mack’s capable of doing – obviously I experienced it firsthand last year – and we will have answers for him.”
Bill O’Brien knows the challenge ahead with not only Mack, but the rest of the talented Raiders defense.
“I would say that guy has been playing pretty well all year. I mean, I’ve watched all the games – he looks pretty effective to me,” O’Brien said. “Look, it’s not always the sack stats that you look at, it’s how much they’re affecting the quarterback. I think, recently, they’ve had probably close to 30 quarterback pressures.”