The buzz surrounding Khalil Mack’s chances to win the NFL’s MVP award has subsided and it looks like Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald is well on his way to taking home the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season.
But before we start engraving Donald’s name onto the trophy, I think Bears safety Eddie Jackson would like to get a word in on the conversation.
Not only does Jackson have a nose for the football, he has a knack for making big plays in big moments. And there was no bigger moment for a bigger play than when Jackson picked off Matthew Stafford to break a 16-16 tie. It was his second pick-six in four days and it was downright delicious:
Eddie Jackson taking the Turkey to the house pic.twitter.com/P93rgIWPBD
— Alex Patt (@chifanpatt1) November 23, 2018
This is where I’d like to point out that his three touchdowns this season is as many as Julio Jones (who leads the NFL in receiving yards) and Brandin Cooks (who leads the high-powered Rams offense in targets, receptions, and yards).
To further illustrate Jackson’s nose for the end zone, Jackson has five defensive touchdowns (three pick-sixes, two scoop-and-scores) in 27 career games since making his debut in 2017. Those five scores are the most of any defensive player since the start of the 2015 season. Hundreds of players had a two-year head start on Jackson, and the second-year safety from Alabama is leaving them in his dust. In fact, Jackson has more touchdowns than 2017 draft classmates such as first-round receivers John Ross and Corey Davis.
Jackson even has more touchdowns than teammate/draft classmate Adam Shaheen. Yep, the fourth-round safety currently has bragging rights on the second-round tight end. C’mon, big guy. You’ve got some catching up to do. Let’s get it together! If not, Jackson might walk into an offensive meeting room and snatch up some snaps that are being left behind.
Seriously, we can’t rule this out:
Here is one heckuva comp:
Eddie Jackson is the NFL equivalent of a baseball closer. Uncanny instincts.
— dan durkin (@djdurkin) November 22, 2018
Now I’m imagining Mariano Rivera, but if he had 80-grade speed.
Two years into his NFL career and Jackson is making a case to be Ryan Pace’s best draft pick to this point. He has six interceptions, two forced fumbles, four recovered fumbles, a sack, and five touchdowns. Jackson has transformed a secondary that was easily picked apart into a hungry pack of playmaking dogs. With Jackson leading the way, a team that had 16 interceptions the last two years has 20 in 11 games this season. This is no small deal.
If Jackson continues to play at this level, we’ll soon move on past Mike Brown comparisons and slide directly into some more juicy names. Because Jackson is looking like an Ed Reed clone with every ball-hawking interception and it’s got the Bears flying high as they enter a well-earned extended break.