Superstars are great at what they do for several reasons. One is immense talent. The other is a big ego. Part of the reason they dominate is that they thrive on beating others in competition. This often shows up the most on the stat sheet. Khalil Mack best does this by collecting sacks. He had 12.5 last year and hopes are high he can do even better in 2019. Sadly he wasn’t quite able to get one of Aaron Rodgers on opening night.
That’s not for lack of trying. Mack had five total pressures on Rodgers and there were several instances where it was clear as day the Packers tackles were holding him. Referees never called them though. Coaches became aware of this situation and were worried the lack of production might frustrate their star. So outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino pulled him aside according to Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic to get a sense of where Mack’s head was at.
Monachino realized almost at once that there was never anything to worry about.
Khalil Mack didn’t need sacks to impact the game
Anybody who thinks Mack was invisible in the opener because he failed to get a sack wasn’t paying attention. It was apparent that he was causing problems for the Green Bay blockers. They constantly had to devote attention his way. That’s a big reason why other Bears had such success rushing the passer. Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks, Roy Robertson-Harris, and Aaron Lynch each registered at least one sack on the evening.
That is the sort of mayhem Mack’s presence can create. His sacks will come. That is merely a matter of time. It’s all too likely to start next weekend in Denver against the Broncos where their offensive line is having some issues with injury. In the end, all the man cares about is winning. His stated goal from the start this year was the Super Bowl. If his sacrifice in the stat column means the defense continues to dominate? Then so be it.
It won’t go down that way though. Mack is way too good of a player to be held down for much longer. It’s just nice to know the Bears have such an unselfish leader on their defense. Memories of Brian Urlacher inevitably come up thinking about it.