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The Top 7 Plays of DeSean Jackson’s NFL Career

You may not love his attitude, or his consistency, but any legitimate football fan has to love the electrifying ability DeSean Jackson brings to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Over 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, 4085 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 Sports Center’s Top 10 more often than any other WR.

Now, let’s get to it.

7. Going the Distance (64 YDS, 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, and 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 that a receiver only needs one step on his man to go the distance. I think DeSean Jackson proved that with this 61-yards touchdown reception against Jacksonville.

He 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 & 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 one of the reasons Eagles fans adore the man so much on the field. Not only does he open up the field for his teammates, but here he shows a desire, a hunger to get into the end zone that only the greats have.

4. One Second He’s There, Then 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 campaign, 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. DeSean 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 DeSean’s route led to a 30-27 Eagles victory and another highlight reel play for #10.

Jackson caught the ball on his outside shoulder, looked up field, and outran every single Cowboys defender. Once again he shows 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 Redskins

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 three-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 that 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.

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Categories: Eagles

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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