Greatness can sometimes be taken for granted. When a player is consistently better than just about every one of his peers, week after week, year after year, that greatness turns into something of an expectation.
We're experiencing it now with OLB Khalil Mack. It's not that the post-trade honeymoon period is over for Bears fans, but it's gotten to the point where it's become unacceptable for Mack to have a game that would be considered average by mortal standards.
It's a double-edged sword for players like Mack. It's the price they pay once they achieve such respected heights. Mack is held to a different standard, one that usually results in a gold jacket by the time careers come to an end.
Since joining the Bears last September, Mack has been a one-man wrecking crew. In fact, he has more sacks in 19 games than any Bears player in team history (since sacks were recorded in 1982).
In 19 games @FiftyDeuce has 17 sacks, the most by any Bears player through at least 20 games since sacks were recorded in 1982. Mark Anderson (2006-07) had 16 in his first 20 games. Mack has 8 games with at least 1 sack & 1 FF since last season, the most in the NFL.@StatsBySTATS pic.twitter.com/7TpcJNC6bq— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) October 17, 2019
This stat is evidence of the incredible impact Mack's made in Chicago in such a brief period of time. And it's not like Mack had little competition for that sack total in his first 20 games. Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent launched his Bears career in 1983 and is among the pool of former players that Mack surpassed.
Mack has to bring his A-game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, even without QB Drew Brees under center. Teddy Bridgewater has played exactly like the starting quarterback he was once drafted to be, and Chicago can't take him lightly. It's safe to assume Mack won't, and there's a really good chance he'll register his 20th sack (at least) as a Bear.