Mack 'Completely Elevated Everybody' On Bears D

September 25, 2018 - 11:27 am

(670 The Score) The Pro Bowl pedigree of star outside linebacker Khalil Mack spoke for itself when he landed in Chicago, but beyond that, the belief was that he would make a difference for the rest of this Bears defense.

Through three games, Mack has been everything the Bears had hoped and then some. He has posted four sacks, three forced fumbles -- one in each game -- and a pick-six. In fact, Mack is the first player with a sack and a forced fumble in three consecutive games since he did it two seasons ago while with the Raiders.

What has impressed Bears coach Matt Nagy the most is the way Mack has bolstered the defense as a whole and helped make the other 10 players better. The Bears are fifth in the NFL in total defense (289.0 yards allowed per game) and tied for eighth in scoring defense (18.3 points per game allowed).

"I know who he is, what he can do," Nagy said. "To put this stretch together that he’s done is impressive ...What he’s done is completely elevated everybody else on that defense. And across the board, you can see these guys and how all their game has elevated. When that happens, that’s rare, to have one guy affect a team like that.

"When you have Akiem Hicks and Danny (Trevathan) and Eddie (Jackson) and then 58’s out there, Roquan (Smith) is running around, all of our DBs, it’s just contagious.

"I don’t know if I would have expected him to a string of three games like this together, but it doesn’t shock me."

The Bears traded a pair of first-round picks to the Raiders -- acquiring a 2020 second-round pick back in exchange as well -- to land Mack in a blockbuster deal, then signed him to a record six-year, $141-million deal that made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. 

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