By acquiring Khalil Mack, the Chargers are playing their bubbly AFC West game – the NFL Nation

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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Chargers are participating in the AFC West arms race.

Just on the other side of the ball.

For with the Denver Broncos adding a potential future Hall of Famer under center this week in quarterback Russell Wilson to join a division that already boasts another possibly Canton-bound quarterback in Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, one of the league’s best young passers-by in Chargers ‘Justin Herbert and Las Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr – who owns pretty much every record-breaking record in the franchise’s history – opposing defenses need help. And then some.

We therefore present a three-time first-team All-Pro edge rusher, who has also been to six Pro Bowls and was the NFL’s defender of the year in 2016 – Khalil Mack.

With the Chargers on the brink of acquiring Mack from the Chicago Bears, they are on the verge of putting together the most skilled set of pass-rushers in the division to fight the aforementioned signal-callers.

Yes, the Raiders have Pro Bowl defensive MVP Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. The Chiefs boasted last year with Frank Clark and Melvin Ingram III. The Broncos counter with Bradley Chubb and, yes, TBD, as the future Hall of Famer Von Miller has made noise about returning to the Mile High City after helping the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl.

But mating Mack with Joey Bosa? Yes, the next wave of signings in AFC West may have to be an offensive tackle.

Over the last five seasons, Mack (221) and Bosa (207) are both in the top four in total defensive pressure, according to ESPN Stats & Information, behind Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald (291) and the New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (253). Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker TJ Watt, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and Ngakoue both also have 207 defensive pressure at the time.

In addition, Bosa’s 47.5 sacks have been tied for sixth place in the NFL since 2017 and are one more than Macks 46.5, which is number 10.

One more thing – both Mack and Bosa have (checking notes) 12 strips sacking the piece over the last five seasons, right in sixth place in that time frame.

Yes, even as Mack, who turned 31 in Feb. 22, has gone a little slower since the Raiders switched him to the Bears in the middle of his long holdout in 2018.

He was limited to six sacks in seven games last season before undergoing foot surgery, which ended the season in November, and his efficiency as a pass-rusher was down. His win rate for pass rush has dropped from 21.2% in 2017 to 18.6% in 2018 to 19.6% in 2019 to 17.6% in 2020 to 12.9% in the most recent season.

Do you remember how quickly he came out of the gate with the Bears against the Green Bay Packers in the opening of 2018 – fresh start, change of scenery and all that?

After dominating the Packers on national television to the tune of a strip-sack, a fumble recovery and a 27-yard pick-six in his Bears debut, he finished with 12.5 sacks and was second place for Defender of the Year for Anders . It was, in fact, the only year he had a double-digit firing season in Chicago after signing a $ 141 million six-year contract in September 2018. According to Scheffer’s report, Chargers will take on Mack’s full contract and owe him $ 17.75 million in 2022, $ 22.9 million in 2023 and $ 23.25 million in 2024.

If and when the deal goes through, he will be the only former DPOY-named first-team All-Pro to be traded twice.

Now he has to face the Raiders, who made him the overall No. 4 in the 2014 draft, twice a year. Yes, he threw an “O,” presumably for “Oakland,” after firing Carr in Las Vegas, after all.

Good for the Chargers at the start, bad for the rest of AFC West.


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