Rookie safety Eddie Jackson struck first with a 75-yard touchdown off a fumbled Newton pitch deep in Bears territory, six minutes into the game. Just a fluke though, right? Hardly.
With 12:28 remaining in the second quarter, Jackson jumped a deflected Newton pass – a ball that never should have been thrown in the first place – and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Bears lead.
Eddie Jackson: 1st Bears player with 2 defensive TD in a game since 1948 (Fred Evans)
Dick Butkus & Mike Singletary combined: 1 career TD
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 22, 2017
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Jackson, a fourth-round pick out of Alabama, is the first player to return both a fumble and interception for touchdowns in the same game since Antonio Cromartie did it in 2007.
For the offensively challenged Bears, Jackson is their best offense with rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s continued struggles. Chicago meanwhile, had just two defensive touchdowns in the past two seasons combined, and now has two in the first half.
The Bears shutdown the Panthers for most of the afternoon, beating them 17-3.
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