Raiders DE Khalil Mack named PFWA defensive player of the year

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Raiders DE Khalil Mack named PFWA defensive player of the year

Khalil Mack had 15 sacks in 2015. The Raiders edge rusher had four fewer a year later but, still had his best season yet.

As head coach Jack Del Rio likes to say, pass rushers aren’t judged on sacks alone.

That number was still high at 11, but Mack was dominant against the run. He created turnovers and consistently pressured the quarterback despite a steady dose of chip blocks and double teams. A third man was occasionally assigned, as one was late against Carolina.

Mack fought through a triple team and strip sacked Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. He recovered his own fumble and secured a Raiders victory. Then he did something similar the following week against Buffalo.

It was that type of clutch performance, in addition to all the standard metrics, that made Mack the NFL’s most dominant defensive player.

The Pro Football Writers of America agrees. The association named him the NFL’s defensive player of the year for the 2016 season by vote of their membership.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan was named the PWFA’s MVP and offensive player of the year.

Mack’s award could be a preview of a big moment early next month. The NFL will honor its best at awards banquet the evening prior to the Super Bowl, and Mack could be named defensive player of the year there.

That would honor a player with excellent numbers this season. Mack had 73 tackles, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, four passes defensed and an interception he returned for a touchdown. He also had 16 tackles for loss (one off the NFL lead) and had 96 total quarterback pressures.

 

Oakland police credit Raiders QB Derek Carr for helping find missing child

Oakland police credit Raiders QB Derek Carr for helping find missing child

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has 247,000 Twitter followers and, given his popularity in the Bay Area, it’s assumed a significant portion stems from this region.

Carr put that megaphone to good use.

Oakland Police sent out an Amber Alert on Saturday hoping to find a young boy gone missing, and Carr retweeted that call for public assistance.

The boy was quickly found after a citizen replied on Twitter and provided information that led to the rescue.

That led an Oakland police officer to credit Carr for helping find the boy.

Carr responded to the news on social media, happy police were able to find a missing child.

Raiders S Karl Joseph named to PFWA All-Rookie team

Raiders S Karl Joseph named to PFWA All-Rookie team

Injury issues bookended Karl Joseph’s rookie year. The Raiders brought their first-round strong safety along slowly while recovering from ACL surgery, keeping him out of defensive action during 2016’s first two games. He missed four at regular-season’s end with a toe injury.

In the middle he played just fine. Joseph was solid against the run and impactful playing deep, allowing him and veteran Reggie Nelson to remain unpredictable in deep coverage.

Joseph finished the year with 60 tackles, an interception and six passes defensed.

That was good enough for recognition on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team, which was released on Tuesday following a vote of the association’s membership.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa were the offensive and defensive Rookies of the Year, respectively.