Chicago Bears: 5 Hot takes on the Bears playoff chances, Khalil Mack, and more

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Chicago Bears, Khalil Mack
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Chicago Bears Hot Take: Khalil Mack will win Defensive Player of the Year

Ever since Khalil Mack joined the Bears in 2018, he’s made an impact that few players on the defensive side of the ball could match. The problem for him has been his impact hasn’t always been reflected in the stat sheet. Defensive Player of the Year for edge rushers is pretty much solely decided on sack numbers, and although Mack has excelled in areas like pass-rush win rate and pressures, his sack numbers have been pretty tame.

In 2019 and 2020, Mack finished the year with 8.5 and nine sacks. For reference, T.J. Watt of the Steelers had 14.5 and 15 sacks in his last two seasons. Even though many analytics-driven companies like Pro Football Focus have pointed out that sacks can be a product of scheme and are not always a great indicator of individual success, it is still the primary stat that is used for pass rushers.

Khalil Mack’s sack numbers are up 

The good news for Mack is his sack numbers are the best they’ve been with the Bears. Mack has five sacks through five games, which is currently tied for fifth. With a healthy Robert Quinn lining up on the other side, defenses haven’t been able to key in on Mack as much, and that has given him more clean shots at the quarterback.

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Beating out the likes of Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt along with many other high-level players won’t be easy, but if Mack can manage to sustain his current production for the entirety of the season, he has a good chance to make a run for his second defensive player of the year award.