It’s been The Eddie Jackson Show early on for the Chicago Bears in their Week 7 game versus the Carolina Panthers. The rookie safety — a fourth-round pick for Chicago this spring — has two 75-yard touchdowns for the Bears in the first half, resulting in a 14-0 lead.
Jackson’s first touchdown came on a fumbled pitch from the Panthers’ Cam Newton to Curtis Samuel. Samuel couldn’t handle the backwards toss behind the line of scrimmage, and the ball bounced among several players before Jackson scooped it up and ran down the sideline 75 yards to the end zone.
Such a play is a major difference-maker from a defense, but it wasn’t the only one in the first half from Jackson. In the second quarter, a quick slant pass from Newton to receiver Kelvin Benjamin was tipped up high in the air. Jackson seized the ricochet and was off for another 75-yard score, eluding a diving tackle attempt by Newton along the way.
The fumble recovery and interception are each the first of the season for Jackson, who was drafted out of Alabama. Obviously, Jackson has made a significant impact for a Bears defense that hasn’t scored many touchdowns in recent seasons.
The Bears had 2 defensive touchdowns in the last two seasons combined.
Eddie Jackson has 2 in the 1st half.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) October 22, 2017
Jackson also made some history with his two long defensive scores.
— Randall Liu (@RLiuNFL) October 22, 2017
Jackson already looked like a good draft pick, winning the starting safety job as a fourth-round selection. But scoring touchdowns directly off turnovers shows he’s an impact player for that Bears defense as well.