Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Khalil Mack had a career day on Sunday in his team’s Week 4 victory over rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell and the Las Vegas Raiders. The 10-year NFL vet had a career-high six sacks in the Chargers’ 24-17 win. However, Mack doesn’t take all the credit. He says O’Connell helped out quite a bit, too.
“We just had time to get there. Everybody on the defense was working together,” Mack told the media after the game (h/t Pro Football Talk). “He was doing a lot of things that was benefiting us while he was moving around in the pocket. I was able to get there.”
Mack's six sacks in one game is a franchise record and one short of the single-game NFL mark. Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs took down Dave Kreig of the Seattle Seahawks seven times in a 1990 contest.
Khalil Mack was the No. 5 overall pick in 2014 out of Buffalo by the then-Oakland Raiders, and in his time with them, the Chicago Bears, and the Chargers, he has made seven Pro Bowls, three All-Pro teams, and was the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year. Prior to Sunday, Mack had 84.5 career sacks.
Mack is now also the 2023 NFL leader in sacks after his breakout performance. He came into the Chargers-Raiders Week 4 matchup without a sack in the season but left tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Josh Allen and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ TJ Watt.
As for Aidan O’Connell, he may have walked into seven sacks on Sunday (one from Joey Bosa, too), but overall, the rookie performed well after getting the last-minute start when Jimmy Garoppolo couldn’t get out of concussion protocol in time.
The fourth-round pick from Purdue was 24-og-39 for 238 yards with an interception but also led his team to score 10 unanswered points in the second half and almost came back and won the game.
In Week 5, the Raiders will take on the Green Bay Packers while the Chargers go on their bye week.