The New Orleans Saints’ defense has a knack for making opposing playmakers look special.
But, the thing is, Vincent Jackson has been special all year.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, he did have a historic afternoon, though.
Vincent Jackson: 216 receiving yards—Buccaneers record. Previous mark—212 (Mark Carrier, 1987, also vs Saints)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 21, 2012
A skeptic will look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver’s seven receptions for 216 yards and a touchdown against the Saints and cry fluke. After all, New Orleans surrendered the most yards in the NFL prior to Week 7. It’s the same stop unit that allowed Jamaal Charles to rack up 288 yards from scrimmage in a single game.
While Jackson’s performance against the Saints on Sunday was his best of the season, he has been (and will continue) torching defenses throughout 2012.
Despite inconsistent quarterback play, Jackson entered this week ranked second in the league in yards per catch among receivers with at least 20 receptions. He started off slow in the season opener and Josh Freeman didn’t show up against the Dallas Cowboys, but in the Bucs other three contests, Jackson reeled in a total of 15 balls for 294 yards and four touchdowns.
Sure, he’ll have a game here or there that doesn’t measure up to his fantasy football owners’ expectations. But nine out of 10 times, that will be Freeman’s doing. When the young passer is on, though, there’s no stopping Jackson and the world witnessed that this weekend.
Many were concerned his numbers would take a hit after swapping Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers for Freeman and the Buccaneers. But while Jackson’s regular season home may have changed, his postseason destination—the Pro Bowl—has not.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.