"What a grab!" These were the only words that came out of my mouth as, rookie wide receiver, Desean Jackson picked Donovan McNabb's pass out of the air for a 47-yard gain.
Going into the season opener, Eagles fans and myself didn't know what to expect. McNabb was healthy, LJ Smith, their starting tight end, was healthy, and their defense was bolstered in the off season by signing pro-bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. The team looked healthy alright, healthy except for their wide receivers. Both starting wideouts Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown were both out of the game with injuries that led some to believe the Donovan had no one to throw the ball too.
The second play of the game got every fan out of their seats cheering and yelling, no doubt, because it was a sign that the rookie from California University, Desean Jackson, was serious. It was a simple play-action passing play to Jackson, who was streaking down the sidelines. The ball was thrown Jackson's way even though the cornerback was all over him. Somehow, Jackson reached up and grabbed the ball from behind the defender's back and showed everyone that he was for real.
In the preseason, Desean Jackson was absolutely stellar. He led all wideouts in receptions and had a punt return for a touchdown against the New England Patriots. We were sure of his abilities against backup defenders but weren't quite sure what to think of him until we saw him breakout against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday afternoon.
Over the past several years, the Eagles wide receiving corp. have been under heavy attack by the press saying Donovan McNabb needs a wide receiver to throw to or they will never get far in the playoffs. Those analysts are now eating their own words because they don't know squat.
Not only was McNabb the best quarterback on Sunday in regards to the entirety of the NFL, but he also didn't even play for most of the 4th quarter due to a secure lead and the guarantee of victory. His biggest feat of all was turned not one, not two, but three unknown unproven players into 100 yard receivers all in the same game. The last time this team had three 100 yard receivers in one game was 48 years ago, which was also the last time the Eagles won the championship game.
The Eagles passing attack was an unstoppable force on Sunday. The offensive line didn't give up one sack on McNabb, the wideouts got open and caught the ball, Donovan was sharp completing 22 of 33 passes, and DeSean Jackson looked like a total stud in his first NFL game. Who needs Kevin Brown or Reggie Curtis? I mean, Kevin Reggie or...whatever their names are?