DeSean Jackson: Top 7 Plays from the Philadelphia Eagles WR's Career
Throughout his tenure as an Eagle, Jackson has put up fantastic numbers, even in the midst of contract problems. In four years he has 229 receptions, 4,085 yards, a 17.9 yards per catch average and 21 touchdowns. He set a record for most 50-plus-yard touchdown receptions in 2009 with seven, electrifying the NFL and appearing on SportsCenter's Top 10 more often than any other WR.
Now, let's get to it.
7. Jackson Goes the Distance (64 Yards Exactly)
First, he snatches the ball away from the cornerback. Then, he puts the strong safety on his butt as he flies by him. Finally, to pour salt on the wounds of a 34-14 victory, Jackson somersaults across the goal line. (I don't think he's capable of crossing the goal line in a normal fashion.)
Jackson shows grit, speed and a flare for the dramatic in this catch. It is one of the plays opposing defenses look back to and say, "This, gentlemen, is why we play Cover 2 against the Eagles."
6. Faster Than a Jaguar
They say a receiver only needs one step on his man to go the distance.
I think DeSean Jackson proved that with this 61-yard touchdown reception against Jacksonville.
Jackson ran an exquisite post route, getting behind his man and far enough away from the safety to catch the ball, turn and tip-toe down the sidelines for one of his first long-distance connections with QB Michael Vick.
5. The Ground and Pound Method
For better quality, go to this video and the 4:03 mark.
Who said D-Jax couldn't run the ball?
Jackson's initial burst of speed, plus his toughness to shed would-be tacklers are a couple of reasons why Eagles fans adore the man so much on the field. Not only does Jackson open up the field for his teammates but here he shows a desire and hunger to get into the end zone that only the greats have.
4. 1 Second He's There, 1 Second HE'S GONE!
When the Eagles drafted Jackson out of the University of California, they were banking on two things: deep, coverage-hounding routes and a special teams game-changer.
As this play and No. 1 show, they got both.
In Week 1 of the 2009 season, Jackson took this booming, end-over-end punt from inside the 20 and turned on the jets. He wasn't even touched the whole way as he outran Panthers coverage guys all the way to the end zone.
Jackson lost some of that big-play ability in 2011, and how well he can return punts could play a difference in late-game drives (and eventually in the win-loss columns).
3. Victimizing the Cowboys Secondary
Maybe Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins thought he had read Mike Vick's eyes.
Maybe he thought that, even if he missed the ball by a bit, his safety help would come over the top and prevent the long play.
Maybe he just wasn't thinking.
Whatever the case, his decision to try and jump Jackson's route led to a 30-27 Eagles victory and another highlight-reel play for No. 10.
Jackson caught the ball on his outside shoulder, looked upfield and outran every single Cowboys defender. Once again, Jackson showed his game-changing speed, a trait that has carried the Birds to plenty of wins over their NFC East rivals, including the next two as well.
2. 88-Yard TD Catch vs. Washington
Setting the record for longest opening play in a regular-season game, DeSean Jackson opened the floodgates with this 88-yard bomb as the Eagles pounded the Washington Redskins, 59-28, on Monday Night Football.
In the midst of a recent surge in offensive production, obviously led by the introduction of Michael Vick as the starting quarterback, Jackson's opening play TD allowed his teammates to get involved as well. That is just what he does for this team; he beats a defender—in this case, the embarrassed and unfortunate LaRon Landry—and sets the offense in motion.
1. Miracle at the Meadowlands II: The Punt Return
As part of a comeback that has been dubbed "the best of all time," DeSean Jackson returned a Matt Dodge punt 65 yards to give his team a 38-31 victory in Week 15 of the 2010-2011 season.
Down 31-10 with only seven minutes remaining, Michael Vick led his team back to tie things up at 31-31 with two minutes remaining. After the Eagles forced a 3-and-out, Dodge was instructed to punt the ball away from Jackson to force overtime. What happened next is history.
Not only does this play show Jackson's clutch ability but also his game-changing speed and agility. These are two traits that make him worth so much more than his statistics let on.
If anyone ever tells you the Eagles should've let Jackson walk this season, remind them of two things: his ability to make his fellow receivers better and this play.