Four Bears players chosen first-team All-NFL

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The honors keep on coming for outside linebacker Khalil Mack, cornerback Kyle Fuller, safety Eddie Jackson and punt returner Tarik Cohen.

After being selected first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press two weeks ago, the four Bears players have also been named first-team All-NFL by the Professional Football Writers of America as well as the Sporting News.

The four selections for the NFC North-champion Bears are the most in the NFL on the PFWA and Sporting News teams and tied with the Chiefs for the most on the Associated Press squad.

Mack, who was acquired Sept 1 in a blockbuster trade with the Raiders, led the Bears with 12.5 sacks, a career-high six forced fumbles and 18 quarterback hits. He also ranked second with 10 tackles-for-loss. The fifth-year pro was voted to his fourth straight Pro Bowl, but he will not play in the game due to a minor knee injury he sustained in the Bears’ wild-card loss to the Eagles.

Mack’s 12.5 sacks were the most by a Bears player since Hall of Famer Richard Dent also had 12.5 sacks in 1993. Mack’s 12.5 sacks tied for the third most in franchise history behind Dent’s 17.5 in 1984 and 17.0 in 1985.

Mack was named the NFC defensive player of the month for September after registering five sacks, four forced fumbles and returning an interception 27 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against the Packers.

Fuller tied for the NFL lead with a career-high seven interceptions, the most by a Bears player since Tim Jennings led the league with nine in 2012. Fuller also topped the NFL with 21 pass breakups. He picked off two passes Oct. 14 in Miami and followed a week later with an interception of the Patriots' Tom Brady. Late in the season, Fuller registered interceptions in three straight games against the Lions, Giants and Rams.

Jackson recorded a career-high six interceptions and scored three touchdowns on two interception returns and a fumble return. His five defensive TDs since joining the Bears in 2017 as a fourth-round pick are tied for the most by a player in his first two NFL seasons with the Jets’ Erik McMillan in 1988-89.

Jackson also compiled 51 tackles, 15 pass breakups, one sack, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was selected the NFC defensive player of the month for November after he scored three touchdowns to help lead the Bears to a 4-0 record.

Mack, Fuller and Jackson helped anchor a dominating defense that led the NFL in takeaways (36), interceptions (27), interceptions for touchdowns (5), rushing yards allowed (1,280), rushing TDs allowed (5) and lowest opponent passer rating (72.9).

Cohen topped the NFL with 411 punt-return yards and ranked first in the NFC and fifth in the NFL with a 12.5-yard average on a league-leading 33 returns.

Fuller, Jackson and Cohen were all voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time in their careers this season.

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