Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack faced off against the team that drafted him — the Raiders — for only the second time in his career. In the game, Mack did not put up eye-popping numbers but the Bears still got the win. For him, it was just another day at the office with eight tackles (even solo) and a sack. But on that sack, the former Raider decided to troll his old team and give all non-Las Vegas fans something to smile about.
Cause for celebration
At the start of the fourth, the Las Vegas Raiders finally scored a touchdown. The Raiders were kept out of the end zone up until that point. With the score 14-9 after the touchdown, the Raiders attempted a two-point conversion. As quarterback David Carr dropped back on the attempt, his old teammate beat the right tackle to the outside and charged in securing the sack. To celebrate the occasion, as he trotted back to the sideline Mack held up an “O” with his hands.
The “O” represents the team’s former home in Oakland, California. It was something that was traditionally held up by members of the team during their time in California to celebrate. For Mack, while he was a member of the organization, it was only during the team’s time in Oakland and not in Las Vegas.
How Mack made it to Chicago
In a move that has been deemed a headscratcher by most, the Raiders traded away Mack in 2018. The former number five overall pick in the 2014 draft was just one of two first-round picks by the Raiders that they traded away in 2018. The Bears acquired Mack for a 2019 and 2020 first-round pick.
The first time that the All-Pro linebacker went against his former team back in 2019, he maintained the position of “it’s just another game…” But he did express some disappointment from being traded away from the team so early in his career.
“That’s the expectation when you get drafted to a team: you want to be there for the long haul and bring championships in all those good things. It’s the business side of it that doesn’t really let you do that,” said Mack before the 2019 matchup between the Raiders and Bears.
While he doesn’t express too much emotion over his departure from the Raiders, it’s always good to see a little gamesmanship from time to time. For Mack, he might’ve celebrated that sack there but, he’s definitely celebrating the win all this week.