Week One marked Khalil Mack‘s debut with the Chargers, but head coach Brandon Staley was no stranger to the linebacker.
Staley was Mack’s position coach in Chicago for the 2018 season, so he had a front row seat for 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles from a player who finished second in the voting for defensive player of the year. That meant Staley had some experience watching performances like the one Mack turned in against the Raiders.
Mack had three sacks and a forced fumble to help his new team to a 24-19 win and move them toward a matchup with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Thursday night. On Tuesday, Staley said he thinks Mack will be vital to any hopes of slowing down the Kansas City offense.
“You need a team to be able to defend an offense like this, and certainly a player like Patrick,” Staley said, via the team’s website. “Any time you are facing an offense that has weapons — running backs, receivers, tight ends — and that has an outstanding offensive line, you’re going to need the same thing on defense, that same type of formula. What Khalil does is he gives you that chance up front, both in the run game and the pass rush, to be able to impact the game.”
The Chargers were able to force four turnovers in a 30-24 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium early last season. They’ll be hoping that Mack’s arrival allows them to pull off a similar result to move to 2-0 this season.