Mitchell Trubisky isn’t the only Bears player entering year three of his career with high expectations.
Eddie Jackson already had his breakout season in 2018, and now the team will be expecting more greatness from their Pro Bowl safety.
Pro Football Focus ranked the top 50 players in the NFL entering 2019, and the former fourth-round pick came in at No. 47.
“After earning just a 68.3 overall grade across 1,055 defensive snaps as a rookie, Jackson exploded onto the NFL scene in Year 2 of his career,” PFF wrote. “He logged five defensive touchdowns and earned position-high marks in overall grade (93.2) and coverage grade (94.7) in the process. Regression is in order for the former Alabama standout given just how successful he was in creating turnovers and turning them into points, but he shouldn’t fall far in 2019.”
It might not be fair to expect another six-interception season from Jackson, but the supporting cast in the defending-No. 1 defense should put him in position for more success.
New defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has to figure out a new dynamic with Jackson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on the back end, but the entire returning front seven should give both safeties opportunities to get their hands on passes and work their magic.
JJ Stankevitz chats with NBC Sports Washington Redskins Insider JP Finlay to preview Monday night's game, which just might be a must-win for Washington (1:20).
Also, is the Redskins' defense actually as bad as it's looked in the first two games of 2019? (2:30) Will Josh Norman shadow Allen Robinson and try to shut him down? (6:15)
On the offensive side of the ball, JP explains what's made Case Keenum so good this year (9:45) and if rookie wideout Terry McLaurin's explosive start to the season is sustainable (11:55). Plus, JP gets into the impact of left tackle Trent Williams' holdout (13:30) and how it's effected running back Adrian Peterson (15:05).
Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:
Under Center Podcast
The Chicago Bears avoided the dreaded 0-2 start by defeating the Denver Broncos last Sunday in what's become something of an instant classic for Bears fans. Eddy Pineiro's 53-yard game-winner injected life into an otherwise lifeless start to the season, and while it was incredible to watch unfold live, NFL Films' recap of the final minute is goosebump-inducing.
"We need one second and the ball," Matt Nagy said in the Bears locker room after the win. "And that's a credit to you guys for never giving up. I dont care about stats, we got the dub!"
The Nagy-booms that followed were epic. Check it out: