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Chargers' Brandon Staley on Khalil Mack: 'You're witnessing one of the special players that you guys have ever watched'

Scan the NFL's top 10 sack performers in 2023, and one name sticks out: 32-year-old Khalil Mack.

The 10-year veteran sits tied for third in the NFL with 13.0 sacks through 11 games (one game fewer than Danielle Hunter, tied for the league lead with 13.5 alongside T.J. Watt).

The 13 sacks are the most for Mack since 2015 (15 in his second season).

The Chargers' edge rusher has generated four games this season with two-plus sacks (tied for most with Watt and Josh Allen). Sunday's two-sack performance against Baltimore marked Mack's 20th game with two-plus sacks since 2014 (tied for most in the NFL).

Reaching a dozen sacks on the season, Mack, who played for the Raiders and Bears, became the second player to have 12-plus sacks in a season with three different teams. Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (Rams, Steelers, Panthers) was the only other player to do so. Mack currently sits at 97.5 career sacks.

"This is going to be one of the top seasons he's ever had," Chargers coach Brandon Staley said Monday, via the team's transcript. "In 2018, when I was with him (in Chicago), I think he should have been Defensive Player of the Year that year. Had we not held him out of those two games, I think he would have been. He's playing at an elite level, as well as I've ever seen him play. He looks fresh. He looks healthy. You saw the way he rushed against a $100 million tackle last night. He's been doing it all year. He has 13 sacks. It's a historic achievement -- one of two players in the history of the National Football League to have 12 sacks with three different teams. He's going to get to 100 sacks. You're witnessing one of the special players that you guys have ever watched."

Like most of Mack's best seasons, however, the edge rusher could see his efforts go for naught. The Chargers currently sit at 4-7, in the basement of the AFC West. In 10 seasons, Mack has made the playoffs four times (Raiders in 2016; Bears in 2018, 2020; Chargers in 2022) and has won zero postseason games.

If Mack were to climb past Hunter and Watt while fending off the likes of Allen, Myles Garrett, Maxx Crosby, Micah Parsons, etc., for the sack title, he'd become the sixth player since sacks were officially tracked in 1982 to lead the NFL at 30-plus years old: Kevin Green twice (14.0 in 1994 at 32 and 14.5 in 1996 at 34), John Randle (15.5 in 1997), Michael Sinclair (16.5 in 1998 at 30), Michael Strahan twice (22.5 in 2001 at 30 and 18.5 in 2003 at 32), and Robert Mathis (19.5 in 2013 at 32).

It's not just sacks that Mack has generated this season. He currently sits ninth in the NFL with 54 QB pressures, per Next Gen Stats, with his 15.3% pressure rate 14th among all edge defenders with at least 200 pass rush snaps. Mack's 3.7% sack rate is tied for fifth-best in the NFL through Week 12, per NGS.

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