The Los Angeles Chargers knew that Khalil Mack had to step up Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens with fellow edge rusher Joey Bosa on injured reserve.
It didn’t take too long for the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year to make his presence known against Lamar Jackson inside SoFi Stadium during Sunday Night Football.
Mack recorded a sack of Herbert in the second quarter, making it 12 on the season for the stud pass rusher.
Mack, 32, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene as the only NFL players to have recorded 12 sacks with three different teams since sacks became an official stat all the way back in 1982.
Greene accomplished his feat with the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers. He also recorded 10.5 with the San Francisco 49ers back in 1997.
As for Mack, he was not done there. The seven-time Pro Bowler recorded yet another sack of Jackson to push his total for the season to a resounding 13 in just 11 games.
A first-round pick of the then-Oakland Raiders back in 2014, Mack recorded 15 sacks as a sophomore the following season. He had 11 in 2016 with Oakland, winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in the process.
Acquired by the Chicago Bears in a blockbuster trade ahead of the 2018 season, Mack announced his presence in the Windy City with 12.5 sacks. He was then acquired by Los Angeles ahead of last season.
Mack’s first year in Southern California didn’t go too swimmingly with him recording a mere eight sacks in 17 games despite earning his eighth career Pro Bowl appearance.
But it’s been a completely different story thus far in 2023. It was back in Week 4 against his former Raiders squad that Mack registered six sacks of Aidan O’Connell as Los Angeles earned a win over the division rivals.
With the Chargers’ defense having struggled big time this season under Brandon Staley, Mack has acted the part of a bright spot.
Sure, it was not enough for the Chargers to end their current skid. But he came to play against one of the NFL’s best teams Sunday night.
About the rest of the Chargers? Well, they now sit at 4-7 and completely out of the AFC Playoff race. One now has to wonder whether Staley will be on the sidelines the next time Khalil Mack takes to the field come Sunday against the New England Patriots.