Khalil Mack has faced a lot of backlash for his slipping sack numbers, but PFF still grades him out as the best edge defender in the NFL right now.
Mack finished last season with nine sacks last season a year after putting up 8.5 sacks (the lowest since his rookie year). However, sacks don’t always tell the whole story with NFL edge rushers as PFF’s grades show.
Mack was still a dominant force for the Chicago Bears, pressuring the quarterback at an incredible rate and stuffing the opposition’s run game. Remember when he did this to Tristan Wirfs after sacking Tom Brady?
Khalil Mack makes his presence felt. 💪 @FiftyDeuce
— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2020
Do not let his low sack numbers deceive you. He still grades out as the best edge rusher over Defensive Player of the Year runner up TJ Watt.
Kahlil Mack Beats Out TJ Watt As The Best Edge Rusher In The NFL
According to Pro Football Focus’ rankings, Mack ranked as the best edge rusher in 2021 despite his seeming mediocrity perpetuated by fans clamoring for higher sack numbers.
Here’s what they said:
“MACK WAS ONCE AGAIN THE HIGHEST-GRADED EDGE DEFENDER IN THE NFL LAST SEASON, FINISHING THE CAMPAIGN WITH AN OVERALL PFF GRADE OF 92.3. ONLY MACK AND T.J. WATT FINISHED THE YEAR WITH PFF GRADES ABOVE 90.0 IN RUN DEFENSE AND AS A PASS-RUSHER.
FOR MACK, IT WAS HIS FIFTH PFF GRADE ABOVE 90.0 IN SEVEN YEARS AT THE NFL LEVEL, WITH THE OTHER TWO SEEING HIM SLIP ONLY TO THE LEVEL OF 86.0. HE RECORDED 59 TOTAL PRESSURES, INCLUDING THE PLAYOFFS.”
So, do you want to try again at guessing how good Mack has been over the last few years? It’s safe to say based off this data that Mack isn’t the reason for a regressing Chicago Bears defense. Mack often faces double teams off the line because the Bears haven’t paired him with a good pass rushing core.
He can’t do everything alone. Robert Quinn was signed over on a $70 million contract to help be that person for the Bears after a strong 2019-20 campaign with the Dallas Cowboys in which he had 11.5 sacks. He would only record two last year for Chicago.
If Mack can get some help along the defensive line, it’s safe to say that we can see his sack totals rise once more. The good news for him is that Eddie Goldman will be returning next year for Chicago which should solidify the position.