Eddie Jackson is a very, very good safety. I know this because I’ve watched nearly every snap he’s taken in the NFL.
Is he a top 10 safety in the league? Probably. But CBS Sports HQ doesn’t think so:
Top 10 Safeties in the NFL— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 23, 2020
(According to @VoiceOfTheStar)
1. Tyrann Mathieu
2. Minkah Fitzpatrick
3. Jamal Adams
4. Harrison Smith
5. Anthony Harris
6. Justin Simmons
7. Devin McCourty
8. Derwin James
9. Kevin Byard
10. Earl Thomas pic.twitter.com/4CNHhRyPUD
Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Bears news and analysis.
Nor does CBS’ rankings have Akiem Hicks as a top 10 defensive lineman:
Top 10 Defensive Linemen in the NFL— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 24, 2020
(According to @ryanwilsonCBS)
1. Aaron Donald
2. Chris Jones
3. Kenny Clark
4. Grady Jarrett
5. Fletcher Cox
6. DeForest Buckner
7. Cam Heyward
8. Calais Campbell
9. J.J. Watt
10. Javon Hargrave pic.twitter.com/lAWGFsW0Ca
And there are eight – eight! – edge rushers ranked ahead of Khalil Mack:
Top 10 Edge Rushers in the NFL— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 24, 2020
(According to @ryanwilsonCBS)
1. T.J. Watt
2. Myles Garrett
3. Chandler Jones
4. Cameron Jordan
5. Joey Bosa
6. Shaquil Barrett
7. Danielle Hunter
8. Za'Darius Smith
9. Khalil Mack
10. Nick Bosa pic.twitter.com/TGd621tshy
The nerve! The disrespect! CBS clearly hates the Bears. They don’t have one eye open, they have their eyes closed!
These are just a few examples of the national media “hating” on the Bears recently. Last month, ESPN’s Michael Clay predicted a six-win season and a last-place finish for the Bears in 2020:
Post-draft 2020 NFL team projections and playoff teams + 2021 draft order. #ClayProjections pic.twitter.com/UxFbUPAGy7— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 4, 2020
At best, the Bears are an afterthought in a lot of national discussions. They’re viewed as a team that’ll neither contend for a Super Bowl nor a top-10 draft pick. Otherwise, they’re a punchline – the team that drafted Mitch Trubisky instead of Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson. And at worst, they’re squarely on the Jaguars track.
Meanwhile, I predicted the Bears to win 10 games when the NFL released its 2020 schedule, and most of the talk around Chicago has been about if Nick Foles or Trubisky can be enough to push a great defense into the playoffs – not avoid the bottom of the NFC North.
What gives? Why does the national opinion of the Bears seem to be so disconnected from the local one?
I think it starts with the 2019 Bears being one of the league’s most irrelevant teams. 8-8 coupled with no first round draft pick will do that. The Bears last year didn’t really give anyone outside Chicago a reason to care about them, not when there was a far more intriguing disaster playing out in Dallas. In the NFC North, the Lions marched to the No. 3 overall pick while the Vikings and Packers both won playoff games. The Bears were...just kind of there.
And the Bears didn’t do much in the offseason to change the perception of mediocrity around the team. Though I will say: Don’t sleep on how good this defense should be with Robert Quinn on board.
Also, the Bears haven’t exactly been relevant much recently. 2018 was great; that’s the only season this franchise has had over .500 since Lovie Smith was fired after the 2012 season. And even that year ended in a moment that morphed into a league-wide joke.
What I’m getting at is it’s not the national media’s fault the Bears aren’t exactly at the forefront of their analysis. It’s the Bears’ fault. For this “disrespect” or “hate” to stop, the Bears need to start winning, and start winning consistently.
Otherwise, yeah, Jackson is going to get left off more lists he probably should be on.