Eddie Jackson's rare ball skills and special knack for getting into the end zone were once again on display in Sunday night's first-place clash with the Vikings.
With the Bears protecting a precarious 14-6 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the second-year safety intercepted a Kirk Cousins pass intended for receiver Laquon Treadwell and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown.
"I saw [Treadwell] breaking out and read the quarterback's eyes," Jackson said. "The ball was a little overthrown and I had a bunch of blockers in front of me."
The touchdown was Jackson's second of the season and fourth in two years with the Bears. No other NFL player has scored more than two defensive TDs since the start of last season. In addition, Jackson is the first NFL player to return both a fumble and interception for touchdowns in consecutive seasons.
"Coach Vic [Fangio] told us this week if we get the ball, let's try to score, not just be happy with a turnover and go down," Jackson said. "Think touchdown, and that's what we think every time we touch the ball."
Jackson's interception was one of three takeaways by the Bears defense Sunday night. Adrian Amos Jr. also picked off a pass and Khalil Mack forced and recovered a fumble. The Bears have now generated at least two takeaways in nine of 10 games this season and have produced at least three in seven of their last eight contests.
Bouncing back: After hitting the upright on all four of his missed kicks last weekend versus the Lions, Cody Parkey made all three field goals he attempted Sunday night. His biggest kick was a 48-yarder that gave the Bears a 25-14 lead with 2:48 left in the game.
Parkey practiced at Soldier Field Wednesday night and Thursday night and looked sharp in pregame warmups Sunday night.
"We were here two nights and I think it paid dividends for us," said holder Pat O'Donnell. "Cody was super confident warming up; he didn't miss a kick. Going into that [final] kick, I knew he was going to make it."
Struggling last Sunday no doubt motivated Parkey. "He knows the kicker he can be," O'Donnell said. "He just wanted to prove it to everyone, and I think he did that tonight."
Back in action: Activated from injured reserve Saturday, tight end Adam Shaheen made his season debut Sunday night but exited the game late with a concussion.
Before he was injured, Shaheen caught a two-point conversion pass from Mitchell Trubisky that gave the Bears a 22-6 lead with 8:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"Adam's good in the red zone," said coach Matt Nagy. "He's a big target, former basketball player that has some good ball skills when the ball is in the air. Mitch could not have made a better throw and Adam could not have made a better catch in that situation. They executed it great."
In other injury news, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch also left the game with a concussion.
Quick turnaround: The Bears won't spend much time savoring Sunday night's big win; they'll immediately begin preparing for Thursday's Thanksgiving game in Detroit.
"It's a totally different routine," Nagy said. "The guys are in tomorrow after lunch. We can't watch this game; we're on to Detroit. It's a really quick turnaround. We have a plan in pace with our trainers and strength staff of nutrition and sleep and rest and mentally and physically making sure that we're taken care of."
News and notes: The Bears engineered their longest touchdown drive of the season in plays (13) and time (7:13) in the first half. … The Bears have now won back-to-back games against division opponents for the first time since 2012. … The Bears improved to 7-0 this season when holding their opponents under 24 points. … The Bears have outscored their last three opponents 68-7 in the first half (Bills 28-0, Lions 26-7 and Vikings 14-0).