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Chicago Bears, Eddie Jackson
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Chicago Bears Hot Take: Eddie Jackson is no longer a high-end safety

Eddie Jackson drew a lot of criticism for his poor play against the Rams, leading many to wonder if he can still be considered one of the best safeties in the league

Is Eddie Jackson still a high-end safety?

If we want to argue over if Eddie Jackson can get back to playing at an elite level, that is one thing, but if we are going off the player he has been most recently, there isn’t a reasonable argument for him being anything more than an average player, and even that might be generous.

Eddie Jackson wowed Bears fans with a great 2018

After showing some promise in his rookie season, Jackson had an incredible second-year breakout, forcing eight total turnovers and scoring three touchdowns, and was one of the leaders of the Bears’ dominant 2018 defense. Jackson was named First-Team All-Pro and made his first Pro Bowl.

Jackson had drawn praise from players and executives and had solidified himself as one of the best young defensive players in the league. For whatever reason, Jackson hasn’t been able to come close to replicating his 2018 run. He had an underwhelming 2019 and didn’t record a single interception in 2020. His first game of the 2021 season wasn’t very promising either.

It isn’t just the interceptions that are missing 

If Eddie Jackson was still great in coverage and an elite run-defender, then I’d cut him some slack. However, the problem is he hasn’t really been good at anything recently. That’s pretty concerning for a guy who is one of the highest-paid defensive players in football.

On film, Jackson has been just another player. He routinely gets beat in coverage, offers average run defense, and no longer can get the splash plays for the defense as he did earlier in his career.

Eddie Jackson can’t ride off 2018 forever

Fans are growing impatient with Jackson, and it’s hard to imagine the Bears coaching staff isn’t too. Jackson’s incredible 2018 was enough to give him a pass when he regressed in 2019, but at this point, we’ve seen more of Eddie Jackson playing like just another guy than we’ve seen him at an All-Pro level.

If you evaluated Jackson just on his performance alone and didn’t take into account his contract, name recognition, or previous accolades, you would come to the conclusion he was one of the worst players on the field for the Bears this past Sunday.

Bottom line

Optimistic fans may still believe Jackson is capable of getting back to being the turnover machine he was in 2018, but as of right now, there is no way he can even be in the discussion as one of the best safeties in football.