Bernstein: What Eddie Jackson Is Doing Is Remarkable

November 26, 2018 - 2:12 pm
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(670 The Score) In case you weren't paying attention, the Bears just won three straight NFC North games in the span of 12 days, completing the trifecta on the road and starting a backup quarterback who has barely played real football.

Part of the reason they accomplished that feat was a critical play by Eddie Jackson in a 23-16 win at the Detroit Lions on Thursday, the very same second-year safety who had already done just that to help them seal the previous game at home against the Vikings. Jackson keeps doing this, and it's remarkable.

His Thanksgiving treat was intercepting Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and returning it for a score to wrest control of the game back to the Bears in one play. Jackson had diagnosed exactly what was about to happen, positioned himself before and during the snap to bait the throw, then pounced. Four days prior, he followed Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' eyes to the top of a post-corner route that he also grabbed and brought back, so we're seeing more than just good fortune. These aren't balls tipped at the line or released while under duress but obvious achievements to be credited to his own effort and skill.

Jackson has five touchdowns in 27 games as a Bear, meaning a safety is averaging 1.1 points per game in his NFL career. And thanks to Bernstein and McKnight listener "Stonecutter," there's context.

Charles Tillman had nine regular-season defensive touchdowns in 156 games. Mike Brown had seven in 100 games, and Lance Briggs had six in 173. Jackson has already surpassed the four career touchdowns scored by Brian Urlacher, Bennie McRae and Rosie Taylor and the three compiled by Bulldog Turner, J.C. Caroline, Walt Harris, Tim Jennings, Zach Bowman, R.W. McQuarters and Major Wright.

That would be everyone in franchise history with three. As far as other notables, these players all had two: Richard Dent, Otis Wilson, Todd Bell, Nathan Vasher, Leslie Frazier and Wilber Marshall, with Marshall doing it in the fewest games at 59.

Doug Buffone had just one in all 186 games he played, as did Ed O'Bradovich, Gary Fencik, Shaun Gayle, Tony Parrish and ... Dick Butkus.

Mike Singletary played 179 games and never scored.

Only three Bears on the defensive side of the ball ever have found the end zone more than Jackson, and he has yet to complete his second full season. He's not done, and the player currently graded the best at his position by Pro Football Focus deserves attention for doing something we've never seen.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​​