Monster’s Mash: What will be Khalil Mack’s second act?

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Khalil Mack #52 of the Chicago Bears lines up for a play in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Film study got a whole lot different for his second opponent in 2018 about a week before his first game.

Russell Wilson knew he’d be facing an experienced Bears’ defense, but he didn’t expect them to have one of the best defenders in the National Football League.

“He’s a tremendous player, I have a lot of respect for him and how he plays the game,” said the Seahawks’ quarterback of new Bears’ linebacker Khalil Mack. “Watching the film from their Green Bay game and how he was really causing a storm, it’s pretty impressive.”

That was just the first showing for the linebacker after just a week of practice. Mack’s experience in the Bears’ defense more than doubled this week since he took part in an extra day of film study and workouts with Bears facing Seattle on Monday night.

Certainly that will get Bears’ fans fired up and some of the Seahawks like Wilson a little leery, considering Mack’s start to his Bears career in Green Bay last Sunday. In the first half he got a sack, forced a fumble, intercepted a pass, and scored a touchdown as he caught the eye of those in Chicago and across the country.

He didn’t quite sustain it the rest of the game, but certainly it gives hope to what kind of havoc he could bring to the Seahawks’ backfield this week as his conditioning and knowledge of Vic Fangio’s scheme continues to improve.

“I think 95, 99 percent,” said Mack when asked how much of the playbook he’s caught up on during his two weeks with the Bears. “It’s been great going over it with (Outside Linebackers) Coach (Brandon) Staley. “We’ve been on top of it.”

Recovering From The Second Half Hangover

Having gone to Alabama, where losses were few and far between, dropping 11 games in 2017 was quite a bit different for Eddie Jackson.

But the loss that happened on Sunday night against the Packers might top them all when it comes to the category of pain.

“Not from that point spread,” said the safety, referring to the 20-point lead the Bears dropped in the Week 1 loss to Green Bay. “But man, Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback, they’re a great team and we let our feet off the gas.”

That certainly left the fan base with a Monday morning hangover, and it was the same for some of the players as well. One of the main talking points for the week is how the Bears would get past such a second half collapse to a rival to start a season.

Matt Nagy has been outspoken that the team will do so, so have most of the players. For Jackson, there’s no lag from that loss now eight days old, but rather an emphasis to turn their 30 minute effort against the Packers into 60.

“This game, we’re going to start right here,” said Jackson. “This is the starting point, this is the turning point. Started the day watching film. We know we’ve got to come out here and finish better. that’s one thing we’re going to keep in the back of our minds.”

Trey’s Not Worried About One Play

One of the biggest talking points of the week had to do with the Bears’ quarterback, a screen shot, and the open tight end in the endzone that he missed.

It was the last play of the first quarter and Trey Burton popped open for a bit right in front of Mitchell Trubisky in the endzone. But the quarterback didn’t pull the trigger, instead checking down to Taylor Gabriel as the Bears settled with a field goal.

Trubisky acknowledged the play and said the screen shot made it look like “I don’t know what I’m doing,” but said that it wasn’t as open at full speed, and didn’t regret the checkdown since it helped the Bears to a 10-0 lead.

So what does the guy who was open think? He’s not really sweating it. In fact, Burton can sympathize with Trubisky on the play.

“I understand how tough it is from a quarterback standpoint. I played quarterback in high school and a little bit in college,” said Bruton. “I wasn’t the first or second read, so I totally understand that he didn’t see me and I believe it.”

Burton does hope that the quarterback can find him more than Week 1, when he caught just one pass in the one-point loss.

STAT OF THE WEEK – 22 

The number of years since the Bears last won their home opener that was played on a Monday night.

That was in 1996 against the defending Super Bowl champion Cowboys, when newly acquired linebacker Bryan Cox (who wore No. 52 like Mack) had a fumble recovery touchdown in a dominating 22-6 win at Soldier Field.