Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack has been a wrecking crew this season, entering Sunday's game with a franchise-record eight-straight games with a sack.
But while Mack had another exceptional game while facing double teams, it was his running mate Bruce Irvin who came up big in the team's 19-to-16 win over the San Diego Chargers that secured their first postseason since 2002.
Irvin finished the game with five tackles and two sacks, with one of them coming on the final drive. With the Raiders holding on to a 19-to-16 lead, Mack forced Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers out of the pocket and Irvin chased him down for the sack, his second of the day. The play forced a 3rd and 15 and Rivers ultimately threw an interception on fourth down, locking up the Raiders win.
Irvin has often referred to himself as the "Robin" to the Raiders' "Batman", or in this case, Mack.
When asked about his big day after the game, Irvin responded: "Robin woke up with a pep in his step."
The Raiders signed Irvin in the offseason after he was previously with the Seattle Seahawks. While they knew he would bring a solid veteran presence in the locker room, they also knew he would be the ideal fit to line up across from Mack.
"Well today the way he got around the quarterback as the best part about it, but I think that from the moment Bruce arrived, he and Khalil had a natural bond where they are two alpha males," Del Rio said after Sunday's win. "They are going to push each other really hard every day and compete every day. Bruce has been tremendous for us and is a really great addition to the football team."
Though Irvin has no problem referring to himself as "Robin", he's happy to be in a situation where he can help contribute to a team that is now in the playoffs.
"I just felt good overall about the whole situation when I woke up, so I'm just happy to contribute and we came out here with that 'W'".
Irvin's two sacks on Sunday gives him five in the last five games. He'll look to build on that number as the team hosts the Indianapolis Colts on Christmas Eve at the Coliseum.