Khalil Mack appears in a row to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriot's threatening Khalil Mack participated in the last…
Khalil Mack appears in a row to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriot’s threatening
Khalil Mack participated in the last practice of Bears this week on Friday, clearing the road to edge rusher to play Sunday against New England Patriots.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last Friday that the bears expected Mack, who has not missed a game in his career, to play after suffering a foot injury early in the week 6’s 31-28 loss for the Miami Dolphins. Mack is officially doubtful for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.
Mack had some interest in discussing his ankle with the media on Friday and continued to answer questions about his preparedness for New England. However, coach Matt Nagy said he thought Mack “looked good” during training on Friday.
Mack did not record a sack against Miami and was held at just one push, per Pro Football Focus. The Dolphins game plan was to commit a lot of resources to stop Mack, but he was not effective even when he had one-on-one, hurried opportunities when the game continued.
“He was (killing)”, said Defense Coordinator Vic Fangio. “I can not put a percentage on it, but he was definitely.”
Having Mack available ̵
1; even if he is not full strength – will be crucial for Bears defense to have a chance to keep Tom Brady from lit up the scoreboard. The key to Bears will be to create pressure on the 41-year-old quarterback without blitzing, which is something Fangio defense succeeded before Sunday’s nasty loss for the dolphins.
Brady’s pass grade is 138.4 when he blitzed, per Pro Football Focus, while under pressure his grade is 87.2. It’s still pretty good, but it’s worth noting that all the six missions he threw this year has come when he has not blitzed. And only one of the eight bags he has taken has come when he has blitzed.
The score is: If the bears feel they have to start blitzing to create pressure, they can expect Brady to choose them.
“You can say all this but in the end (Brady) one player,” Mack said. “He will take these hits, and you must be able to deliver them but also have coverage over the top. It will be really important to us.”
The good news for Bears might be that New England’s tackles have fought sometimes this year. Left Handing Trent Brown has allowed 17 presses in 234 to pass blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus (about one in every 14 snaps). And start the right thank you Marcus Cannon is out with a concussion, giving space for La Adrian Waddle backup, which allows eight presses of 78 pass blocking snaps (about one in tenth).
Then there will be opportunities for Mack, Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks and Bears to jump on Brady on Sunday.
Greater harm worry?
While cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) was a full participant in Friday’s practice and played on Sunday, the corner Bryce Callahan suffered an injury during Thursday’s practice and did not attend Friday. He is officially doubtful for Sunday.
Callahan “made his ankle,” said Nagy, towards the end of Thursday’s exercise, and he felt worse when the day went on. Nagy characterized Callaan’s absence from Friday’s practice as a “precautionary measure”.
Callah’s availability may be more an issue than Macks, considering how well Patriot crime has played since the slot recipient Julian Edelman returned from a four-game tension to begin the season. While his number is not blinking (11 catches of 16 goals, 111 meters, 1 TD), New England’s crash has scored 38 and 43 points in his two matches back.
“Brady has always had a guy in the track he’s comfortable with, whether it’s (Wes) Welker, (Danny) Amendola or Edelman,” said Fangio. “It’s a big part of their crimes. They have not missed a blow, but I really think it has helped their crime and played a big part in them basically on average 40 points in the past three weeks. I really appreciate and respects how good a player he is and has been. “
If Callahan is not available, Sherrick McManis could be the next man up in the castle corner.