Eddie Jackson has spent his entire life playing football against elite competition. Boyd Anderson, the South Florida high school Jackson attended, has sent dozens of players to the NFL. Same with Alabama, where Jackson played his college ball. Considering the endless list of five-star talent he's lined up against, surely the Bears' safety could find a good comparison for Kansas City's Tyreek Hill, one of the myriad offensive threats that the Bears' defense will have to contain on Sunday night?
"Speed-wise? No," Jackson said without pause. "Nobody. Nobody."
Hill's speed may be one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the NFL. Take, for instance, this touchdown against the Vikings:
Hill maxed out at 22.46 mph on that score, the fastest he's ever been recorded. Had he been holding the ball, it also would have been the fastest recorded carry of the season by almost a full half second.
The Bears' defense has already played against some of the league's best passing offenses this season (Dallas, New Orleans, Minnesota and Green Bay are all in the top 10 of Passing DVOA), but Hill brings a speed element that you not only can't teach, but can't really defend.
"I think it's going to be very important that we start fast and limit the big plays," Clinton-Dix said. "It's going to be important to get off the field and create field position for our offense."
Hill's numbers are actually slightly down this season; over the last five games he has 27 receptions for 341 yards, and he's averaging under 10 yards per reception. He may still be recovering from missing a month due to a sternum injury. But opponents still have to create gameplans that treat Hill like the primary weapon. In the way that Steph Curry forces NBA defenses to shift and stretch even without the ball in his hands, Hill creates mismatches and tears in schemes, even as a distraction.
"Just knowing his speed, knowing he's a vertical threat, guys can kind of get scared and give him that space and back up," Jackson said. "So a lot of stuff comes open underneath."
"We've just got to be physical, man, and get him on the ground as soon as possible," Clinton-Dix added.
Maybe the best comparison for the Chiefs is a video game, because frankly, some of the numbers and highlights that Hill -- along with teammates Patrick Mahomes, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman -- put on tape are just that absurd. But the Bears' safeties don't care much for that comparison either.
"I've never really played Madden," Clinton-Dix said. "I play it in real life."