Khalil Mack was an absolute terror on Sunday Night Football. It takes one play to define just how big of an impact he has made
It took a complete team effort for the Chicago Bears to knock off the LA Rams and hold the best offense in the NFL under a touchdown. Vic Fangio called a perfect game, but of course those calls are much easier to make when you have game wreckers throughout your defense.
That quite obviously starts with Khalil Mack. As good as the Bears could have been this season that expectation raise tenfold with the acquisition of Khalil Mack. Mack showed up on Sunday ready to completely wreck the game and the Rams had no answer for him.
First, you see that he always has more than one set of eyes on him. On this play, you can see an extra tight end on his side. Even as the tight end pulls across the line, it means Todd Gurley is flaring out to his side, and will be responsible for chipping him. No matter what, two players have to account for Khalil Mack. This obviously helps the other ten players in a huge way.
With extra protection on Mack, the other ten players took advantage. On this play, it is Danny Trevathan. The Rams have to line up the tight end over Mack. If they do not, it is a clear giveaway that Todd Gurley will flare out to Mack, because Mack will not be one-on-one alone.
With that in mind, the defense is able to react knowing the playbook is limited. Danny Trevathan sees the play action and knows that because of the alignment he is going to be free. The tight end tries to pull across, but Trevathan beats him to the punch. The pressure of Trevathan is set up from the alignment of Mack.
Last is the most impressive feat. Mack takes a big step upfield, but sees that Gurley is not going to chip, but rather flare out of the backfield as a receiver. Khalil Mack has no issues with that and is able to change direction, turn up field and force the pass incomplete.
Khalil Mack makes an impact before the ball is snapped based on alignments. He makes an impact with pressure, against the run and he even guards the best running back in the NFL out of the backfield. Khalil Mack is a complete player and one-on-one proved more valuable than Aaron Donald on this night.