Khalil Mack said Sunday’s Bears-Raiders showdown is just another game and no big deal, writes ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. But according to one opinion to the contrary, this game is actually a big deal.
That opinion also came from Khalil Mack.
Khalil Mack told Deion Sanders on NFL Network that facing the #Raiders this week "is a game I've been looking forward to. I can't lie. It's going to be a big one for me."
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 30, 2019
Khalil Mack smiled really wide this morning when @MarkPotash asked him if he'll feel any vindictiveness toward the Raiders this week.
"Ooh. Vindictiveness. I like that word."
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) October 1, 2019
Use your aggressive feelings, Mack. Let the hate flow through you.
To be clear, it’s not as if Mack has any personal animosity toward the Raiders players, some of whom he still holds in high regard. It’s just that the Mack revenge game has been circled on calendars since the NFL schedule was released. Emotions are going to be running high on both sidelines, even if the game is being played on a neutral-site field in London. Mack can try to suppress the feelings as much as he wants, because that is a naturally human thing to do. Then again, so is being geared up to face the team that drafted you and the coach who let you go.
The Mack trade was a wild one for the Bears. And while our focus has been on the impact he has had in Chicago, it is impossible to ignore how his departure shaped the Raiders. It had Jon Gruden talking in circles and deflecting blame on his trade out of Oakland everywhere except where it needed to go. Mack’s early-season play in 2018 left Gruden in bemusement as he could do nothing but watch from thousands of miles away. It was so tough for Gruden to watch, he admitted to being sensitive about the deal months after it went down and even cried about it. Sure, Gruden and Mack have patched things up in more recent times, but it sure seems like the All-Pro pass-rusher is ready to dole out some big plays against his former teammates.
Essentially, Mack confirms what we already knew — Sunday’s Bears-Raiders game is a big stinking deal and I feel like No. 52 wearing blue and orange is set to put on a show.
“Master Mack, what’s going on?!?” pic.twitter.com/Tk0PmyuQUu
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) October 1, 2019