The Raider Ramble

Looks Like Raiders Might See An Old Friend This Year

Raiders

Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) puts a big hit on Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) for a sack during the third quarter November 6, 2016 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. John Leyba, The Denver Post

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With the NFL preseason possibly being shortened in 2021, the Las Vegas Raiders might get to face an old friend, all-world defender, Khalil Mack.

It’s the trade that much of Raider Nation has never been able to get over these past few seasons. In all honesty, we don’t blame them when you consider how things transpired. General manager Reggie McKenzie and returning head coach Jon Gruden swore that Mack would be back. Instead, the superstar defender was shipped off to the Chicago Bears for a slew of picks right before the 2018 season began.

Another matchup seems probable given that the NFL is pondering the thought of shortening the preseason to three games. If the Washington Post story proves to be right, it will mark the second time since 2019 that Mack will face the Silver and Black. As a side note, Gruden’s Raiders got the better of ’52’ in that matchup, but would 2021 be a different story?

Related: 3 FA Running Back Raiders Should Avoid This Offseason

Did the Raiders win that trade?

In the grand scheme of things, a 17th game of the regular season leading to a second matchup doesn’t indicate who won that trade. The Bears got an outside linebacker that’s been a First-Team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. Meanwhile, the Raiders landed Josh Jacobs and Damon Arnette with the picks they got in that deal. However, Chicago hasn’t done anything of consequence in the postseason. They’ve only made it to the playoffs once, back in Mack’s first year.

In the meantime, Raider Nation argues that the team’s defenses weren’t good even with Mack. While that may be true from a statistical standpoint, if you truly believe your team is better off without Mack, what can we say to that? Regardless, if a 17th game becomes a reality, there should be little doubt that Mack will have this game marked on his calendar.

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*Top Photo: John Leyba/The Denver Post

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