Akiem Hicks Says Packers OL Can't Block Khalil Mack Ahead of Week 1 Matchup

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2018

Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) talks to the media before practice at the NFL football team's workout Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Lake Forest, Ill. (AP Photo/David Banks)
David Banks/Associated Press

Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks doesn't think the Green Bay Packers will have an answer for the Bears' newest addition, Khalil Mack, ahead of their game Sunday night.

"I know those five guys can't block Khalil Mack," Hicks said, alluding to the Packers offensive line, per ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky.

In addition to present problems for Green Bay, Hicks sees Mack's arrival as having a positive impact for Chicago's front seven.

"I think the question every team is going to ask is how do you block Khalil Mack?" he said. "So him being there, it just gives me more freedom to have one-on-ones. ... Can you tell how excited I am to have my new teammate?"

The Bears sent 2019 and 2020 first-round picks, a 2019 sixth-rounder and a 2020 third-rounder to the Oakland Raiders in return for Mack, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2020 conditional fifth-rounder. Almost immediately, Chicago signed Mack to a six-year, $141 million extension that includes $90 million in guaranteed money, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was likely one of the factors the Bears considered before making the move. He has averaged 241.9 yards and thrown for 42 touchdowns in 19 career games against Chicago, with Green Bay winning 15 of those games.

Acquiring one of the game's best pass-rushers is one way to try to neutralize the Packers' aerial attack. Mack has racked up 40.5 sacks through his first four seasons, and he joins a team that was eighth in adjusted sack rate in 2017, according to Football Outsiders.

Because the trade went through with a week left until the regular season kicked off, Mack may need a game or two before he's firing on all cylinders.

But he can give Rodgers and Bears fans a taste of what's to come with his Week 1 showing.


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