The narrative all week heading into the matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears was Khalil Mack facing off against his former team. For those who don’t remember it was just before the 2018 season when the Raiders traded Mack to the Bears for two first-round draft picks. The moved paid off big for Chicago as they went from a mediocre team to the Super Bowl contender with one of the best defenses in the NFL. Oakland went in the opposite direction as they finished 2018 as one of the worst teams in the NFL with one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
There’s little doubt that Mack is still one of the 10 best players in the entire NFL and he’s getting paid like it. The Raiders didn’t want to pay a defensive player like a quarterback and decided it would be better to accumulate draft picks. Ironically, the player Oakland selected with the Bears’ draft pick was Josh Jacobs, who was the main reason they were able to pull off the win. It will probably be argued for quite a while who exactly won the Mack trade, but right now, neither team can really complain too much and the Raiders still have another first-round pick from the Bears.
Raiders’ Richie Incognito Blasts Khalil Mack After Win vs. Bears
It probably would’ve been safe to assume that Khalil Mack was going to feast on the Raider offensive line because he does that with almost every offensive line. Outside of one play where he blew past Trent Brown and almost got the sack on Derek Carr, Mack was mostly ineffective. This is thanks to the great play by the Raider offensive line. Starting guard, Richie Incognito, called out the Bears and Mack, as Josh Dubow of the Associated Press revealed.
“Of course we take that personally,” Incognito said about Mack’s refusal to talk to the media after the game. “[Mack] was talking about how he was looking forward to playing us and all that stuff. There’s history. We came out, and we were physical with him, and they didn’t like it.”
Oakland’s offensive line was clearly fired up because of Mack talking about how pumped he was to play the Raiders. Well, it definitely didn’t go as planned for the star pass rusher.
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Not the Game Khalil Mack Was Expecting
Mack probably had this game marked on his calendar since the schedule was released, but he’s likely just hoping to forget it about now. This is evident by the fact that he broke league rules by not making himself available to the media after the game. This loss clearly stung him, even though he said: “it’s another game” before the teams played. It obviously wasn’t or he wouldn’t have had such a negative reaction to the loss.
Jon Gruden needed this because the trade would’ve been questioned once again if Mack lit up the Raider offense. He’ll bounce back and continue his impressive season, but this loss is going to stick with him. It seems like Gruden and Mack don’t like each other and the coach has to be feeling pretty happy right about now.