Bears' Eddie Jackson on 2019 Season: 'We Plan on Taking This Whole Thing'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) walks to the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Last season's Chicago Bears were a missed Cody Parkey field goal away from winning their first playoff game since the 2010 campaign, but safety Eddie Jackson has bigger plans in 2019.

"Everything—how short, and how far, we came," he said when asked about his motivation, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. "From the losing record to the winning record. How short we came, with the first-round playoff game with the field goal. Right now we just want to build off everything and let that be the fuel to our fire. We plan on taking this whole thing."

Chicago is certainly on the short list of Super Bowl contenders.

It went from four straight last-place finishes in the NFC North to a 12-4 record and division crown in 2018 under first-year head coach Matt Nagy and has all the pieces in place to make another run at the title.

A defense that finished third in the league in yards allowed and first in the league in points allowed has Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith and Jackson back providing Pro Bowl-caliber players on all three levels. An offense that made strides last season added Mike Davis and David Montgomery to a group of skill position players that includes Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller.

The biggest question marks are at quarterback and kicker, and one has a much clearer answer than the other.

Mitchell Trubisky went from someone who completed 59.4 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and seven picks as a rookie under John Fox to a Pro Bowler who completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions under Nagy. If he can make another jump from his second to third seasons—which isn't an unrealistic expectation—the Bears can be among the league's best teams on both sides of the ball.

The kicking woes have been a storyline all offseason as the team looks for a replacement for Parkey, and the position already cost Chicago a playoff victory last season.

If it can find an answer there and make the strides Jackson seemed ready to watch his squad make, don't be surprised if the Bears are lifting the Lombardi Trophy.


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