Eddie Jackson put together a wonderfully successfully campaign in 2018, and the numbers can more than back that up.
But it wasn’t just the individual or more obvious accomplishments (six interceptions, three defensive touchdowns) highlighting Jackson’s second-year leap into stardom. Instead, it was his entire body of work that has our jaws hitting the table:
Eddie Jackson's 2018 regular season goes down in the PFF history books tied as the highest-graded regular season from a safety since 2006. pic.twitter.com/PfXSKDxGX3
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 11, 2019
Yes, that says “Highest-graded safety in PFF History“!
Jackson’s breakthrough performances on a week-in, week-out basis earned him a tie for the highest-grade a safety has ever been given by Pro Football Focus. PFF isn’t the be-all, end-all of football analysis (and it hasn’t been around forever), but, I mean, come on … that’s pretty freakin’ awesome.
The only player on Jackson’s level was Jairus Byrd in 2012, a season in which he intercepted five passes, forced four fumbles, collected five tackles-for-loss, took a trip to the Pro Bowl, and earned a 93.2 grade. And to that, I say … Well done, but where are the touchdowns? Jackson’s ability to flip a game by creating turnovers and turning them into points more frequently than most gives the second-year Alabama product a leg up in this head-to-head showdown – at least, in my opinion.
Even though the year ended with Jackson sidelined and unable to play because of an ankle injury, the 2018 season was one to remember. He earned All-Pro honors, a Pro Bowl invite, and was named to the PFWA’s All-NFL Team. It was a really great year.
The future appears bright for Jackson, the Bears, and their secondary, at large. And even though that position group doesn’t have a coach just yet, Jackson’s stellar 2018 season – and his teammates – should have candidates beating down the doors at Halas Hall for the opportunity.