Out of nowhere, the unsung Bears are providing much-needed light in an otherwise gloomy week in Chicago sports.
If you hadn’t heard of Eddie Jackson before this weekend, you surely know his name now. Jackson, a fourth-round pick out of Alabama, dropped down draft boards this spring thanks to a leg injury and fell into the Bears lap.
He had put together an alright season thus far, but exploded on Sunday afternoon to account for all of the touchdowns scored between two teams. Twice Jackson scored and he was the boost the Bears needed to upset the Carolina Panthers at home.
It couldn’t have come at a more needed time for Chicago sports fans.
Last week, Chicago Bulls fans drove home to news that earlier in the day Bobby Portis had broken Nikola Mirotic’s face. The two players got into a fight at practice, with Mirotic suffering fractures to bones in his face. The Bulls have promptly lost their first two games of the season.
Not long after the drama with the Bulls cast a shadow over the start of their season, the Cubs had the lights turned out by the World Series-bound Los Angeles Dodgers. It wasn’t just an elimination that ended hopes of seeing the Cubs go back-to-back, it was a brutal killing on national television.
Needless to say, it’s been a bad week for Chicago sports. With the 4-2 Panthers coming to Soldier Field, why would anyone assume things would get better?
The Bears will (probably) not be going to the playoffs this year. That didn’t matter on Sunday when fans in Chicago finally had something to jump about. Jackson’s touchdowns gave much-needed happiness to fans that have had little to cheer about.
Tarik Cohen and Mitchell Trubisky connecting for a 70-plus yard connection was poetry in motion. Every time the Bears defense swallowed up Cam Newton for a sack, it was a shot of dopamine spike with adrenaline. The Bears were exciting, they were entertaining, and they were good.
In a week full of broken faces and broken dreams, fans needed this kind of a performance by the bears to lift them up.
Chicago is 3-4 and still in the basement of the NFC North. But for 60 minutes on Sunday fans had something to cheer about and that catharsis is what makes sports worth rooting for. Who knew that Eddie Jackson would be the guy to remind us of that?