Khalil Mack is living rent-free inside Kirk Cousins’ head.
Check out this anecdote from The Athletic’s Chad Graff, who shared some interesting comments from the Vikings QB on Chicago’s top pass-rusher:
Kirk Cousins yesterday had an interesting example of how Khalil Mack can impact a play even without registering a sack or quarterback hit. Cousins' comments: pic.twitter.com/fZ7nFC8Dxy
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) September 26, 2019
You know what’s utterly hilarious? The fact that Mack’s lurking presence can mess with everything a quarterback does in the passing game so much, he remembers it a year later. Plenty of guys can be the sort of game-changer who racks up big stats, but Mack has shown that he can do it without laying a finger on the quarterback. Pretty neat, eh?
Oh, and the numbers Mack puts up are darn good, too.
Take for example his grade from Pro Football Focus last week:
There were just 18 players who earned a grade of 90 or better from PFF in Week 3. And if you consider there are 1,472 players who suited up in Week 3, being one of 18 is a pretty big freaking deal.
Mack was on the attack in Week 3, en route to becoming PFF’s fourth-highest-graded player. His 92.4 grade was well-earned and turned out to be the second best grade among edge defenders last week. The analytics site gave Mack a 93.1 pass-rushing grade and collected a 47.1 percent pass-rush win rate while blitzing. You don’t need to understand the inner-workings of number-crunching to realize those numbers are ridiculously awesome.
So how does one reach these heights?
Well, Mack came away with two sacks, two tackles-for-loss, two forced fumbles, and three quarterback hits. But Mack’s dominance goes beyond that. PFF’s post-game notes show that Mack recorded *NINE* total pressures (and would have had 13 had it not been for penalties that negated those plays). Mack put together a 24.3 percent pressure rate and 31.1 percent overall pass-rush win rate. Holy smokes! That is a ton of pressure.
Mack got off to a slow start (at least, by his standards) to the 2019 season, picking up just one sack, one quarterback hit, and two tackles-for-loss for loss while playing 88 percent of the team’s snaps in the first two games of the year. But it was only a matter of time before Mack broke out and found himself terrorizing offenses again.