All week the conversation has centered around how Khalil Mack would deal with his emotions in facing his former team for the first time. A simultaneous goal of revenge and validation is warranted. A desire for retribution for sending the superstar packing out of Oakland isn’t out of the question.
But the Bears’ cornerstone has never been one to wear his emotions on his sleeve. The perennial All-Pro prefers to let his play—as one of the greatest defensive players of his generation—do the talking. That’s all he needs to do. There’s undoubtedly some unresolved feelings between Mack and the man who decided to unthinkably trade him away in Jon Gruden. Mack’s best plan to make the Raiders miss, the only plan that always makes sense, is to humiliate Oakland through a variety of breathtaking pass rushing moves and unblockable swipes of the arm.
When in doubt, revenge is a dish ideally served in not-so-quiet dominance.
Here’s how the Windy City Gridiron staff envisions a game that has likely been circled on Mack’s calendar for 13 months.
Robert Zeglinski: Bears 20, Raiders 13
Hell hath no fury like a lover scorned. This is not the week to be the team who traded Khalil Mack because you refused to pay the defensive Pat Mahomes what he deserves.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Bears 24, Raiders 3
Not only will Mack be ramped up to play his former team, but the entire Bears squad will rally around their defensive leader to throttle the Raiders.
Bill Zimmerman: Bears 19, Raiders 3
In a revenge game for both, Eddy Pineiro boots four field goals and Mack records three sacks, while the Bears’ defense generally terrorizes Derek Carr. Chicago moves to 4-1 before a welcome bye week.
Jacob Infante: Bears 23, Raiders 10
Mack gets his revenge on Oakland in the form of two sacks, and Chase Daniel plays well enough against a pedestrian Raiders’ defense to pick up the win across the pond.
Aaron Leming: Bears 24, Raiders 17
There’s always going to be an element of the unknown any time you fly half way across the world. The Bears are banged up and Daniel will start at quarterback. But the Bears match up too well against Oakland.
Erik Duerrwaechter: Bears 20, Raiders 6
This is going to be the “Khalil Mack Game,” 2019 edition. I see Daniel managing a conservative game on offense as the Bears’ defense reminds Jon Gruden of the value of having a top-tier defense.
Josh Sunderbruch: Bears 17, Raiders 6
The Raiders get on the board with a defensive score. Otherwise, this is all blue collar football by the Bears.
Sam Householder: Bears 20, Raiders 14
The Bears have been dealing with a lot of weird stuff this week. It makes me feel iffy about this game and a Raiders team that’s frisky. However, I think Matt Nagy has his team ready to play and focused on the task at hand. They start slow while Mack becomes a one-man wrecking crew.
Ken Mitchell: Bears 21, Raiders 6
I’m going with my usual “defense scores one, allows no touchdowns “ prediction again this week. My over and under on sacks for Chicago is 6.5.
WhiskeyRanger: Bears 24, Raiders 10
I’ll be succinct. Khalil. Mack. Revenge. Game.
Robert is wondering why player-team reunions always have to have such hostile undertones. Whatever happened to “Cordial Get-Together Games?”
WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.