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It’s been about 13 months since the Oakland Raiders traded All-Pro pass-rusher Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears.
The move has paid off so far for the Bears, who have seen Mack continue to do in a Chicago uniform what he did in a Raiders’ uniform: get to quarterbacks and generally be a disruptive force on the field.
On Sunday in London, Mack will get to face the team that traded him away rather than pony up to pay him, and he’s not hiding from his emotions over it.
‘I’ve been looking forward to it’
On Sunday night, Mack appeared on NFL Network after Chicago’s 16-6 win over their NFC North rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.
Mack had 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a quarterback hit and two tackles in the game.
Speaking to NFLN’s Deion Sanders, Mack first detailed the win, including shouting out essentially all of his defensive teammates. Then Sanders brought up Chicago’s next game and next opponent, and started laughing even before he finished his question.
“Yes sir, yes sir,” Mack said. “I’ve been looking forward to it. This is one I’ve been looking forward to. I can’t lie to you, man; I’ve got to let you know how it is. It’s going to be a big one.”
This will be the third straight game away from home for Oakland, which hasn’t done a great job protecting quarterback Derek Carr, who’s been sacked eight times through four games. Mack and Carr have said before they’re close friends, but friendship can’t come into play on the field.
Raiders still looking for pass-rushing
After trading away Mack, Oakland coach Jon Gruden last season lamented the Raiders’ lack of a pass rush. In 2018, Mack had 12.5 sacks while the Raiders as a team had 13.
That hasn’t changed so far this season: Mack now has 4.5 sacks and is on pace for 18, which would be a career high for him. As a team, the Bears have 17 sacks through four games.
Oakland has five team sacks.
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