Granted, the Raiders remained focused on Khalil Mack. Actually, the fanbase appears trained on the former Oakland pass rushers. However, if the Raiders want to win, they need to focus on the entirety of the Bears defense. With that said, let’s look at the front seven of the Bears on that side of the ball.
With Vic Fangio leaving for Denver, Chuck Pagano steps into the chair to run the defense. With basically the same roster, Pagano brings a few more wrinkles than his predecessor. As a matter of fact, the Bears could actually perform better in 2016. First, look for more man coverage, not just the corners. Darren Waller will see single coverage. On the outside, Tyrell Williams will probably see a healthy dose of Prince Amukamara. In the front seven, Pagano will throw waves of pass rushers. He rotates six linemen in their base. On top of that Mack, Floyd, and Aaron Lynch will put their hands in the dirt.
“I wish I could be with him the rest of my life. I like him, man. He knows football and he knows people. He treats me with the utmost respect, and I do the same with him.” -Former Ravens CB Ladarius Webb
The battle that fans of interior line violence must see is the future tilt between Eddie Goldman and Rodney Hudson/Incognito. With Hudson, you expect a level of technical greatness, lesser for Incognito. Goldman brings pure brute force, immovability and the occasional knack to get home versus the pass. Also, his hands and shoulders stay square in the run game, for the most part. If Josh Jacobs succeeds, that means the Raiders neutralized Goldman
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Now, you know what Khalil Mack accomplished him in Oakland. Picture him within an actual scheme that fits his talents. Mack excels in Chicago, because the Bears put him in positions to succeed. From moving him around to create nightmares for blockers to just turning him loose. Yet, there’s more to this group than Number 52. We cannot discuss Roquan Smith because, as of this writing, he is not with the team due to personal issue. No need to speculate, so we will move along.
Danny Trevathan provides Chicago with an athletic inside ‘backer that blitzes and covers backs and tight ends with ease. Occupying Smith’s slot, Nick Kwiatkoski displays a knack for the sure tackle. Nothing flashy but technically proficient.
From his drafting, Leonard Floyd flashed occasionally. Yet, he fails to sustain any consistent presence. With that said, he will see single blocking, opposite Khalil Mack. Either Trent Brown or Kolton Miller should excel versus Floyd with power. Floyd’s long frame gives the Raiders a surface area to punish.
Given these points, the game of the Raiders hangs in the balance against the Bears front seven. The offensive line needs to step up versus a ferocious pass rush. The Vikings tormented them, the Packers meet them after. With this game in London, the offensive line can shut many people up with great play.