Khalil Mack Keeps Level Head As Bears Battle For First Place

November 16, 2018 - 3:14 pm
Categories: 

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- The Bears made their major investment in star outside linebacker Khalil Mack for games like these: under the lights of Soldier Field in Sunday primetime, with playoff implications on the line against the division rival Vikings.

"These are the game you live for," Mack said after practice Friday. "You want to be in that spot where you can clinch this thing down the line. It's going to be a game that could very tell the story towards the end of the season. We want to win these."

SPONSORED: Watch every Bears game this season with fuboTV -- click to start a free trial now!​

Coach Matt Nagy often reminds the Bears to take one game at a time. It's shouldn't be difficult to keep that focus this week, as a victory over the Vikings (5-3-1) would put the Bears (6-3) in the driver's seat of the NFC North with six games remaining. A loss would drop Chicago to second place and leave little margin for error moving forward.

What the Bears need is the impact of Mack, who has seven sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception in seven games this season. Acquired from the Raiders in a blockbuster trade on Sept. 1 and signed to a historic contract, Mack is being asked to shine during this stretch run.

After missing two games resting his injured right ankle, Mack returned this past Sunday and recorded a pair of sacks in a win against the Lions. He appeared healthy, though Nagy did admit he's still undergoing treatment to maintain that ankle.

"Every day he's going to always be taking care of it," Nagy said.

Barring an ankle aggravation, it seems Mack can again be counted on as the transformational piece to the defense. The Bears will certainly need him against the likes of Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff and Aaron Rodgers in the coming weeks.

The Bears know they will be in for a battle to reach the playoffs. As they move forward, Mack is keeping a level head, looking at what his team is up against.

"You can never get too high, you can never get too low," he said. "We're sitting at 6-3. That's cool. But ultimately, you want to make that playoff push and be in the biggest game of the year. That's the mindset you have to have in these situations. You can never get too high, can never get too low."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​​