Khalil Mack generated 3.0 sacks, four QB hits, one forced fumble and five tackles, including three for loss, in his debut with the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday’s 24-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Mack wasn’t satisfied with those numbers.
“It wasn’t good enough. I left a lot of stuff out there and I have to get it corrected,” he said Tuesday, via the Associated Press.
Sunday was Mack’s first game with 3-plus sacks since Week 14, 2015, when he played for the Raiders.
Mack became only the fifth non-rookie to have three-plus sacks in a debut with a new team (since individual sacks were first recorded in 1982) Others: Jags’ Calais Campbell in 2017 (4.0) and Chiefs’ Vonnie Holliday in 2003, Colts’ Chad Bratzke in 1999 and Falcons’ Gary Burley in 1984 (each 3.0).
The Chargers traded for the 31-year-old former Defensive Player of the Year to pair him with Joey Bosa, hoping the menacing tandem would bamboozle quarterbacks. In the opener, it looked good, with the duo combining for 4.5 sacks and 16 QB pressures (Bosa 9, Mack 7).
“It’s great to talk ball on the sideline and just communicate about what we get and what each offensive tackle is giving us. So to bounce ideas off each other throughout the game is good,” Mack said of playing alongside Bosa.
The Chargers were able to take advantage of a Raiders team still figuring out their offensive line. Pivoting to Thursday night’s tilt against the Kansas City Chiefs, they’ll face a stiffer test as they try to disrupt Patrick Mahomes and an offense that steamrolled the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1.
The key to slowing Mahomes is getting pressure without sending extra defenders. It’s one of the key reasons the Chargers brought in Mack.
“You need a team to be able to defend an offense like this, and certainly a player like Patrick,” coach Brandon Staley said. “Any time you are facing an offense that has weapons — running backs, receivers, tight ends — and that has an outstanding offensive line, you’re going to need the same thing on defense, that same type of formula. What Khalil does is he gives you that chance up front, both in the run game and the pass rush, to be able to impact the game. You need a lot more people than just your starting 11 to be able to defend a team like this.”
A win in Kansas City would give the Chargers their first 2-0 start to a season since 2012.
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