Khalil Mack is no stranger to adversity. He encountered a lot of it during his time with the Oakland Raiders. So that experience is at least helping him navigate these recent struggles for the Chicago Bears in 2019. At 3-5, the team is in real danger of watching a season filled with postseason hopes go right down the drain. Mack, to his credit, has maintained a steady presence and not tried to rock the boat in any way. However, his frustration is pretty obvious.

The Bears defense isn’t as good as it was in 2018, but it’s still among the better units in the NFL. They have not been the problem. Nor has the special teams which currently ranks 2nd overall in the NFL according to Football Outsiders. Blame for this debacle falls squarely at the feet of the Bears offense. A unit that is currently averaging just over 17 points per game. It’s really hard to win games this day and age like that.

Mack knows this and sent a fairly clear message to the offense that more is expected of them this Sunday against Detroit.

“You can talk about last year all day, but that ain’t really going to have anything to do with what happens on Sunday,” said Mack. “You’ve got to do everything it takes to keep him on the bench because he’s a good quarterback and he’s got a lot of weapons. Those two receivers, I mean they’ve got a special group, and there’s going to be a great task for us.”

Khalil Mack knows Matthew Stafford is hot right now

One of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL going right now is the Lions’ Matthew Stafford. He has 10 touchdown passes in his last three games alone. His 106.0 passer rating through eight games is the highest of his career. The guy is playing some really, really good football. As good as the Bears defense still is, they know they can’t possibly hold him down completely. They need help. Often the best way is by keeping him confined to the bench.

This means long, time-consuming drives by the offense. Something that has been in short supply for the Bears offense all season long. This means a strong commitment to the ground game, something head coach Matt Nagy has proven unreliable at, along with an ability to extend drives through 3rd down conversions by the quarterback. Mitch Trubisky isn’t even in the top 20 in this regard. So it’s little wonder Mack felt compelled to remind them of their responsibility to be better.