The Bears defense is indeed so much more than Khalil Mack.
After scoring three defensive touchdowns in four weeks, Eddie Jackson has joined Mack as the second Bears player to be honored with an NFC Defensive Player of the Month award this season. The second-year safety found his way into the end zone against the Buffalo Bills, and then Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions in successive weeks, and it paid off with appropriate recognition from the NFL.
Jackson, 25, has 37 tackles, four interceptions, eight passes defensed, a forced fumble, and three touchdowns in 2018: almost all a statistical step up from the entirety of his rookie campaign last season. Many wondered about the potential leap Jackson would make from his rookie season to second year in the NFL, as the talent was there. He’s come out shining as arguably pro football’s best safety with an award that should be a surprise to no one.
With Jackson’s honor in joining Mack, the Bears have two NFC Defensive Players of the Month for the first time in one regular season since 2012, when Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings took home individual honors. That’s the only other time two individual Bears defenders have won Defensive Player of the Month in one year. Both Tillman and Jennings went on to All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections in 2012: a safe assumption of recognition for Mack and Jackson at this rate.
The only thing you can be sure this modern Bears duo would like to change is a season’s ending as the 2012 Bears finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs. Something says that if Mack and Jackson continue on their worthy tears, 2018 will have a far happier conclusion.
Robert is the Editor-in-chief of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!), the managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, and writes for a host of other fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.