Are Chicago Bears fans concerned about the wrong safety?

For most of the season Chicago Bears have been ragging on Eddie Jackson. In ways it is fair that Jackson is now one of the highest paid safeties in the NFL, and he is not quite playing like it. However, many fans have taken that simple criticsm and adjusted it to the thought that he is now an awful player, and that he is holding the team back.

Jackson has not been great, but has been anything but their worst player. Beyond that, he has not even been the teams worst safety. It is fair that Tashaun Gipson is not making nearly the same amount as Jackson, but he has been hurting the team more, and it may be time to consider benching him for DeAndre Houston-Carson.

To start, once again, fans have killed Jackson for his missed tackles. However, Gipson has been worse. Gipson has a 22.2% missed tackle rate, per PFF. Eddie Jackson has a 15.6% No one is saying that Eddie Jackson is elite, but Gipson has cost the team more.

Check out the touchdown on an Aaron Jones catch and run below. Gipson is in man and loses Jones with an open field tackle attempt. This results in Jones jumping into the end zone with ease. Every one seems so mad at Jackson that we just excuse this effort.

This was not the only missed tackle Gipson had. He missed three in the game, and another led to a huge gain. In all, Gipson is tied for fourth with the worst tackle rate amongst all safeties. He is much worse than Jackson.

Beyond just missed tackles Eddie Jackson has more stops, both in the pass and run game. It is fair to say that Gipson has missed two games, but Jackson has a higher stop rate as well.

Let’s rewind here and remember what both players roles are. Jackson is the deep safety who limits big plays, while Gipson is expected to slide into the box to play more physical. However, we are seeing Jackson miss fewer tackles, and make more stops close to the line. Lastly, Jackson has allowed 57 yards after the catch while Gipson is at 69. Gipson is having much more trouble getting his man on the ground.

Lastly, we just noted that while the Bears explosive pass defense is not elite, it has been better than perception would lead you to believe.

This is not as much of a defense of Jackson, but rather a question as to why Tashaun Gipson is not getting any ire from the fans. He signed on for a raise, he is older, he missed two games already and when he has been healthy he has been a shell of his former self.

The Bears already experimented with DHC last week. DHC played box, slot, and safety, which meant that there were snaps where Gipson left the field, and DHC was on it.

This may be injury related, it may be performance related. Watching the tape of the last game it is easy to say tape related because Gipson had so many issues tackling.

It is fair to say that Jackson is not living up to his deal. At the same time, the real problem in the Bears back end has been Tashaun Gipson.