Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff: 52 Days with Khalil Mack

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears / Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wi

Khalil Mack takes Chicago Bears to Playoffs, turns in All-Pro seasons

With the Bears, Mack signed a six-year, $141 million contract, making him the highest-paid defensive player in league history. However, the real focus was on the impending matchup versus the team's division rival, and despite sitting out all of the training camps, Mack didn't miss a beat in his first game with the team. The Bears, unfortunately, went on to lose the game by just one, but Mack played like crazy despite not technically starting, including a sack, a tackle for loss, a fumble recovery, and a 27-yard pick-six just before halftime.

This one-game sample would go on to represent much of Mack's Bears tenure, and in just his first season with Chicago, he finished second in Defensive Player of the Year Voting with 12.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, and six forced fumbles. Mack's dominance, as well as that across the defense in general, led the Bears to have the best scoring defense in the league, resulting in a playoff birth after winning the division with a 12-4 record.

Unfortunately, the team as a whole was never able to replicate Mack's first season of success throughout his contract despite him as an individual playing tremendously. Over the next two seasons, Mack played every single game, recording 17.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, and eight forced fumbles. The team made the wildcard in 2020, but offensive struggles ultimately tanked the team during the majority of this great pass rusher's time in Chicago.