Khalil Mack: Everything has to be better this week

USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Mack didn’t appear on the Bears’ injury report his first two seasons with the Bears. He has appeared on it all six regular-season practices this season with a knee issue.

The Bears pass rusher is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game but will play.

“It’s been cool just understanding how to be a pro and how to approach the game,” Mack said, via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s nothing really too much different. But I know I’m gonna be ready on Sunday.”

Mack made his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl last season, but his 8.5 sacks were the fewest since his rookie season of 2014. That and the Bears’ 8-8 record left a bad taste in his mouth.

He returned even more motivated in 2020.

Though the Bears won the season opener, they allowed 23 points, gave up 426 points and made only one sack. Only rookie D'Andre Swift‘s dropped touchdown pass saved them.

Mack played 67 snaps and made four tackles but never touched the quarterback.

“Everything has to be better,” Mack said. “We know what we’re capable of. It’s going to be another challenge this week going out against another great back [in the Giants’ Saquon Barkley]. It’s gonna be fun, though, man. We look forward to the challenge.”

Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano blamed himself earlier this week, and Mack said Friday he will take his share of blame.

“It’s not up to me or anybody else to make excuses,” Mack said. “He took the blame. I’m gonna take the blame as well. It’s something that, yeah, that showing wasn’t our defense.”