Khalil Mack has done some amazing things over his first one and a half seasons with the Bears, but it's hard to ignore his disappearing act over the last six weeks.
Mack's managed just one sack over that span and was invisible Sunday night against the Rams when he didn't register a single pressure, per Pro Football Focus.
No sacks, no hurries, nothing.
It was Mack's third-worst performance of the year per PFF's grades; he scored a 71.3. What's more troubling is that Mack's last three games rank as his bottom three for 2019; not exactly the kind of results expected from a player the Bears traded two first-round picks to acquire. His slump has come at the worst possible time and with the Bears' season in the balance.
"You see that with some of the production, and you see that with a lot of superstars, you could go back to last year with Aaron Donald, when he played us, there wasn’t any (production), and so sometimes that happens," Matt Nagy said Monday from Halas Hall. "But it opens it up for other guys. He was a part of that first play of the game with the fumble, he was right in there with 39, with Eddie Jackson, ripping that ball out.
"Khalil, he doesn’t have to change anything he’s doing, he’s a pretty good player, he understands in this scheme, it’s cyclical, and we’re just in that right now, teams are gonna go ahead and double him every single game, and it just gives opportunities to other guys."
It's true that Mack's presence alone has an impact on games. He's the focus of opposing game plans and blocking schemes and as a result, the rest of Chicago's front-seven defenders have a greater opportunity to run free and make plays. But for as quiet as Mack has been over the last six weeks, his running mates have been even worse.
Leonard Floyd has just one sack in the last nine games, this from the former ninth overall pick of the 2016 draft. He's failed the Bears' defense on many levels, but his inability to take advantage of being teammates with Mack over the last two seasons confirms he'll never be an elite edge rusher. It's time to move on.
The Bears won't be moving on from Mack anytime soon, nor should they. In fact, his season is a microcosm of the Bears as a whole in 2019. It's been a really bizarre year that isn't reflective of the talent on the roster.
Mack may not hit double-digit sacks in 2019, but it won't change his standing as one of the NFL's most-feared defenders for the foreseeable future.