The Chicago Bears traded for Khalil Mack to step up in moments like these
Khalil Mack has been excellent with the Chicago Bears. However, when you look at his seven-year career it is easy to notice that he has three seasons that did not hit ten sacks. One was his rookie year, and then there are the past two seasons.
When Mack recorded 12.5 sacks in his first year with the Bears, that set a high bar, but in the past two seasons, he has not cleared it. To be fair to Mack, he consistently is at the top of the pressure leaderboard, and nobody draws more attention than Khalil Mack.
Still, when the Bears traded two first-round picks for Mack, they did it with the anticipation of him taking over games. Specifically games like the one on Sunday.
Mack is respected, but many view Ryan Ramczyk as the best right tackle in the NFL. He has only allowed two sacks all season. One came against Mack earlier this year, and the other was Joey Bosa. Only the elite talents get the better of Ramczyk.
Mack used a quick move to the inside before attacking the outside shoulder. He was able to get leverage and push Ramczyk back into the quarterback.
Below, Bosa uses a spine move to the inside on him.
With that in mind, the Saints are likely to leave Ramczyk on Mack one-on-one. They have that faith in their star. Mack finished with the sack, but three pressures overall. To put that in context he averages 4.6 pressures per game over his career.
While Mack has not recorded a sack in his two-career postseason games, he has made his presence felt. For the Raiders, he recorded 11 tackles, and 8 coming as run stops, according to PFF. Against the Eagles with the Bears, he had five pressures, and two quarterback hits against Lane Johnson, another elite RT.
Still, five pressures and two hits is a standard Khalil Mack game based on his averages. The Bears have to be calling for super Mack on Sunday. They need to see a career game against an elite RT. If the Saints can feel comfortable leaving Ramczyk on Mack, they are going to be able to move attention and attack other matchups. Khalil Mack needs his first postseason sack, and more for a Chicago Bears win.