The race is on for 30 sacks.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr's prediction (for the second year in a row) that Khalil Mack would register 30 sacks in a season seems to have touched off a legitimate discussion about the number between the two NFL players most capable of reaching that outrageous milestone.
"That's the number I shoot for, but I didn't want Carr] to tell everybody else," [Mack told ESPN.com. "But at the same time, D.C., he knows how hard we work, what kind of work we put in, and he knows what I want.
"Realistically, we just want to get the record at least. At least."
Miller seems to have it all worked out, game-by-game.
"You've got to come out, you've got to get 10 in that first month," Miller said. "You've got to get 10 in that first month, which is doable. You get two and a half, two and a half the next game and two and a half the next game after that. Then you might miss one game, and then you get two and a half, then you've got 10 in five games right there. Then if you go three, two, three, it's definitely doable."
For reference, Miller topped out at 18.5 sacks back in 2012. Mack's largest single-season number was 15.
While this is fun to talk about, it's akin to a baseball player smashing Barry Bonds' ridiculous single-season home run record. I'm being careful not to take anything away from Strahan's accomplishments, but NFL quarterbacks get rid of the football faster and are blanketed by more sophisticated protection schemes than they were back in 2002.
However, one could also argue that the offensive line talent has declined since Strahan's era and that the Giants defensive end faced more consistent talent across the board.
Either way, it would take one of the most creative efforts in the history of defensive coordinating to make this happen. It would also take an unusually healthy season for an every-down player.
That all being said, if anyone is going to do it, the safe money is on either Miller or Mack. Miller almost single-handedly destroyed the league's best offense en route to a Super Bowl MVP award in 2015. Mack will soon be paid like the best defensive player in the league. Could either of them go down in NFL history as unquestionably the greatest?