It’s safe to say Khalil Mack is ready to face his former team a second time.
The Chicago Bears head to Vegas Week 5 to take on Mack’s former team in the Raiders, and after a poor showing against Jon Gruden and company in London in 2019, Mack is looking to make his mark in a big way this time around.
The Raiders beat Chicago back in October of 2019, 24-21. Both teams look quite a bit different now. The Bears had Chase Daniel at quarterback at the time (he was filling in for an injured Mitch Trubisky), and Mack had one of the worst games of his season, turning in just one QB hit and recovering a fumble while leaving the rest of the stat sheet empty.
Now, Week 5, he’ll get another opportunity to stick it to his old team, and it’s clear the All-Pro linebacker is excited about it.
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Mack Is Not Above Wanting a Revenge Game
“It’s different in a sense because you understand the fan base and what it means to me, especially,” Mack told the media on October 8 about returning to play in front of Raiders fans for the first time. “It’s gonna be fun to get a chance to play in front of Raider Nation out there.”
In a fun exchange, Mack was asked if it was natural to want to get back at the team that traded him.
“Would it be human nature for you?” the linebacker responded.
The reporter answered in the affirmative, and Mack replied: “Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.”
Mack and the Bears’ defense didn’t register a sack against Raiders QB Derek Carr back in 2019, and they let running back Josh Jacobs gash them for over 120 yards and two touchdowns. Mack says the key this time will be striking first — and striking harder.
“We gotta be the ones to make them feel us,” Mack said.
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Mack: ‘I Just Know I’ll Be Ready’
Mack acknowledged the off game he had against Carr and company two years ago, using the word ‘ahkie,’ — a synonym for yucky and/or gross — to describe the previous matchup.
“There was a lot of ahkie things that happened during that game,” Mack said. “Not really focusing on the past too much. Getting ready for this next one.”
Gruden had offensive linemen Trent Brown and Kolton Miller, along with multiple tight ends, chip away at Mack all day, frequently double and sometimes triple teaming the pass rusher. While Brown is no longer with the Raiders, when asked if he is expecting more of the same this time around, Mack made a bold promise:
“I don’t care. I don’t care what they do. I just know I’ll be ready for it,” Mack said, adding:
“I really don’t care what they was trying to do to me, personally. I just want to go out and put the team in position to win. That’s always been my goal and that’s always gonna be my goal.”
He also doesn’t care who won the “Khalil Mack trade.”
“I’m the last person to think about what (player) they got (via the draft picks from the trade),” Mack said. “That’s not how I vibe.”
We’ll see for sure how he’s vibing Sunday. He has been nursing rib and foot injuries and only practiced once this week, but he says he’s going to be good to go. “I’m gonna be out there,” Mack said. “If I’m out there, I’m 100 percent.”
The Bears sure hope so.