Bruce Irvin “blessed” to play alongside Khalil Mack

The Raiders have won their last five games and Khalil Mack’s work off the edge on defense has been a major reason why they’ve jumped to the top of the AFC this season.

Mack has seven sacks in those wins and he did a lot more than that in Sunday’s 35-32 win over the Panthers. Mack returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half and recovered a fumble he caused on a sack of Cam Newton in the fourth quarter to seal the win, leaving teammate Bruce Irvin to marvel at playing alongside the third-year star.

“Pick Six, sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery … I’m just blessed to be in his presence,” Irvin said, via the East Bay Times. “The guy is one helluva player. I’m just blessed to be in a great situation, to play alongside a future Hall of Famer.”

Mack is the first player since Charles Woodson in 2009 to have a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception and a touchdown in the same game. Mack called his former Raiders teammate “great company” and said Woodson has been encouraging him to take over games.

Mack took Woodson’s advice on Sunday and the Raiders are in great playoff shape as a result.

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