Shepkowski: Marveling At Mack's Early Performance

September 24, 2018 - 9:51 pm
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(670 The Score) If you’re like me, then you were aware that edge rusher Khalil Mack was a premier talent when the Bears traded for him on Sept. 1. He’s averaged 12 sacks per year over the last three seasons and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. 

It’s not hard to understand that he’s a rare talent who hasn’t been seen in these parts often, but is it possible he’s even better than we thought?

He might be upon more research.

In the first three games, Mack already has four sacks of opposing quarterbacks, which is tied for the NFL lead with the Broncos' Von Miller (a future Hall of Famer), the Browns' Myles Garrett and the Saints' Cameron Jordan. It’s even crazier when you consider the fact that Mack has as many sacks as each the Rams, Patriots and Giants do on their own through three games and more than the Raiders, his former team, do (two).

Mack's pick-six of Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer in Week 1 was the second of his career and a highlight-reel play. He 's responsible for one of the seven such interceptions returned for touchdowns that we've seen through three weeks, and the Bears have two of them.

Most impressive may be what he’s caused opposing quarterbacks to do when he hits them. Mack has forced a fumble in each of the first three games of the season, a number that leads the league. Mack alone has forced more fumbles than 12 of the other 31 teams in the NFL. Discounting the Bears, only eight teams themselves have more forced fumbles than Mack does alone.

Three forced fumbles would be an impressive season for a lot of players, and Mack has accomplished that in three games.

Oh, and perhaps most impressively in today’s NFL climate in which quarterbacks are insanely protected, Mack has yet to draw a flag all him all season.

Nobody tell Clay Matthews. 

Nick Shepkowski is the executive producer of the McNeil & Parkins Show on 670 the Score in afternoon drive. Follow him on Twitter @Shep670.