Khalil Mack (52), shown here in 2016, could have headed to San Francisco. (Aleah Fajardo/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Return of dominant Mack leads Raiders into Mexico City

There are few NFL quarterbacks who understand the fury of Khalil Mack better than Brock Osweiler, the signal-caller for the Houston Texans.

“Any time you play against a player like him, you need to respect what he brings to the table,” Osweiler told reporters in Houston in advance of the Monday night matchup with the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. “You need to have answers for what he brings to the table.”

Last December, when Osweiler was a member of the Denver Broncos, the quarterback was on the business end of Mack’s most dominant game as a Raider. Mack sacked Osweiler five times including one in the end zone for a safety as Oakland upset the Broncos 15-12 in Denver.

“We’re well-aware of what he’s capable of doing,” Osweiler said. “I experienced it first hand last year, and we will have answers for him.”

The Mack-Osweiler reunion arrives at a time when no one has had any answers for the third-year pass rusher.

Mack, who won AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Raiders 30-20 win over the Broncos on Nov. 6, has four sacks and a pair of forced fumbles in his past two games.

The one(s) who got away

In an alternate football universe, Mack and Derek Carr will be wearing red, white and blue in Monday night’s showdown.

Back in 2014, the Texans held the first and 33rd picks in the draft and opted to pass on Mack once and Derek Carr twice. Unsurprisingly, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien played it cool when asked about the missed opportunities especially when it came to whiffing on Carr.

“He’s having a heck of a year,” O’Brien said of Carr, who has emerged as an MVP contender.

“I think when it comes to the draft, [general manager] Rick [Smith] and I just try to make the best decision for the team and that’s what we did,” O’Brien explained. “We chose who we chose and we’re happy with who we chose.”

Buck backs Oakland

Joe Buck the lead play-by-play announcer for FOX’s MLB and NFL coverage is most famous in the Bay Area for his supposed vendetta against the San Francisco Giants.

During an appearance on 95.7 The Game, Buck revealed himself as a backer of the Raiders and their head coach Jack Del Rio.

“I would not be surprised if Super Bowl LI, which Troy [Aikman] and I get to call, if they’re the representatives from the AFC,” Buck said. “And good for them. I love the coach have always loved Jack. And to see him have success out there with a good young core, I think it’s great for the NFL.”

NFL ‘desperately’ wants to block proposed move to Las Vegas

MMQB’s Peter King well-known for his cozy relationship with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has fired up the league’s propaganda machine in regards to the Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas.

“I think a good league person told me over the weekend that the league office desperately wants to do something to prevent what looks like a near-fait accompli the Raiders moving to Vegas … ” King wrote.

According to King, geography is at the root of the league’s worries over the Raiders’ efforts to vacate the East Bay.

“They’ll never come close to duplicating the fervor of Oakland in transient Vegas, and the league knows how valuable the turf is in the corridor encompassing San Jose, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Oakland. They really want to keep a second team there, but probably can’t without Mark Davis taking on a partner, which he has shown no signs of wanting to do.”

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