Las Vegas Raiders vs Chicago Bears: 3 things we learned in Week 5
Khalil Mack is still a great football player and should still be a Raider
One of the first things Jon Gruden did when he took over the Raiders in 2018 was ship off Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears in a blockbuster trade. According to Gruden, Mack would not return his calls and the two parties could not come to an agreement on his contract, so he chose to send the future Hall of Famer to Chicago for a handful of draft picks.
Neither team has had much overall success since that trade, though Chicago has made the playoffs twice during Mack’s tenure there. There was some talk earlier this season that Mack had lost some of his ability but he showed against his old team that he is still an elite football player.
The last time the Raiders played Chicago, Gruden game planned to take him out of the game and had the benefit of a healthy Trent Brown in the lineup to help neutralize Mack. He had no such thing this week as Mack abused Brandon Parker, Alex Leatherwood, and anyone else that tried to block him. He finished the day with one sack, one tackle for loss, eight tackles and was a devastating force all game long.
Obviously, we will never know what the Raiders’ fortunes would have been like had they kept Mack and gave him that massive contract but he reminded us and Jon Gruden that he would have been elite the entire time no matter how much he got paid. The Raiders have improved massively on defense but they are still missing that elite playmaker that can win games on his own.