Eddie Jackson Was A Bright Spot vs. Buccaneers

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Eddie Jackson
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Eddie Jackson /

Plenty went wrong against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, but one thing that didn’t was the play of rookie Eddie Jackson.

Sunday’s game was a tough one for the Chicago Bears. The offense looked lost and turned the ball over too many times. The team couldn’t score until late in the game when Tampa Bay had already begun to play the backups. The murmurs calling for Mitch Trubisky are now audible. All that said, it is important to find some good in all of this mess. Enter Eddie Jackson.

When I looked at the box score, the 8 tackles that Eddie Jackson stood out to me. Throughout the game, I noticed he was around the ball often, and the stats confirmed it. While he may get beat in coverage on a play or two, let it be known that Jameis Winston did not just go out there and pick the secondary apart.

In Coverage

Jackson will improve in coverage as the season goes along. Rarely do secondary players come in and dominate in coverage immediately, especially safeties. It can take a while on the mental side to learn exactly where to be and when to react.

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That said Jackson was solid on Sunday. Facing the bruising Mike Evans and the speedster DeSean Jackson, the 4th round pick from Alabama held his own. Veteran Quintin Demps was actually the safety who looked like he was having trouble. Eddie Jackson’s speed will allow him to be able to make up for a few mistake mechanics wise, while it also allows him to make plays in the other facet of the game.

Against The Run

Former Bears running back Jacquizz Rodgers was playing with some extra pride on Sunday when facing his former team, and it showed on the field. With the loss of tackle machine Jerrell Freeman for the season, the solid run defense was weakened before the game even got started. Luckily for the Bears, the damage of Rodgers being able to get to the second level consistently was slowed by Eddie Jackson.

Jackson had 8 tackles on Sunday and stopped the Bucs running attack from taking over the game. This also helped in pass coverage as Tampa was never able to get in a great rhythm. Eddie Jackson, who can also return punts, used his speed to fly around the field and make plays. While letting the running backs get anything more than 3 yards isn’t ideal, it is nice to know the safety will be able to save those extra chunks of yards.

Development Going Forward

Jackson has shown good instincts through two games and that should excite Bears fans. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has shown the ability the last few years to get the most out of guys in coverage and Jackson has the speed and skills to be elite in that part of the game. If he can master that and keep up his run stuffing ways, he can occupy the Bears’ secondary for years to come. Now if the offense can stop giving the opposing team a short field, the defense can develop even more.