Through four weeks, the Chicago Bears‘ Khalil Mack has been the best defensive player in football. For some strange reason though, he never picked up any defensive player of the week awards. That’s okay though, because the NFL rectified that oversight by giving him the NFC Defensive Player of the Month award for September.
Here are Mack’s totals from the four games this month.
- 17 tackles
- 5 sacks
- 3 tackles for loss
- 4 quarterback hits
- 1 interception
- 2 passed defended
- 4 forced fumbles
- 1 fumble recovery
- 24 QB pressures (per PFF)
The numbers are only part of the story with Mack however. He single-handedly took what was a concern for the Bears heading into the 2018 season (the pass rush) and he made it a strength. The extra attention that Mack draws from offenses is great for Akiem Hicks, Roy Robertson-Harris, Leonard Floyd, Aaron Lynch, etc...
Mack took what was expected to be a solid defense and put it among the league’s elite in 2018. Football Outsiders has the Bears’ D ranked number 1 in the all important DVOA category, and they are 4th in total yards allowed, tied for 3rd in points allowed, 6th in third down percentage allowed, 2nd in interceptions, and 1st in sacks.
When Ryan Pace shipped a couple number one draft picks to Oakland for Mack, I’m sure he envisioned this kind of impact.
Seeing it actually play out on the field has to have him in consideration for GM of the year.