The Bears have long had a safety problem -- remember Chris Conte and Major Wright? -- but they might've found their long-term answer at the position. In the fourth round of this year's draft, the Bears took Alabama safety Eddie Jackson. On Sunday, that selection paid off.
His first touchdown came on the first series of the game when Newton's pitch to Curtis Samuel was dropped. After bouncing around near the sideline, the ball was scooped up by Jackson, who had a clear path to the end zone.
His second touchdown came in the second quarter when Newton's pass to Kelvin Benjamin popped up into the air after a deflection. Jackson saw his opportunity, picking off the pass and racing to the end zone for his second defensive touchdown.
The most impressive part of the play? His ability to beat Newton down the sideline.
A couple of notes, via NFL Research:
Eddie Jackson's 75-yard touchdown for the @ChicagoBears is the team's longest fumble return TD since Week 2, 2004 (Mike Brown, 95 yards)— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 22, 2017
Eddie Jackson: 1st Bears player with 2 defensive TD in a game since 1948 (Fred Evans)— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 22, 2017
Dick Butkus & Mike Singletary combined: 1 career TD
Oh, and then there's this.
The Bears, who are challenged offensively, are getting used to this defensive touchdown thing. During a surprising win over the Ravens last week, another Bears safety, Adrian Amos, took an interception 90 yards for a touchdown.
The Bears have a chance to land a second straight upset. Due to Jackson's two touchdowns, the Bears hold a 17-3 halftime lead over the Panthers. Follow along in the second half with our GameTracker here.