ST. LOUIS – After a slow preseason, DeSean Jackson was his usual disruptive self on Sunday in the season-opening win over St. Louis. Jackson was a huge part of the Eagles' attack as Michael Vick's primary target – Vick tried to get the ball to Jackson 9 times in the first half, 12 times in all – and finished the game with six catches, 102 yards and a touchdown.
Happy days are here again …
Many wondered how Jackson would respond having made public his desire to get a long-term contract from the Eagles, a desire that has not yet been granted. Jackson's play provided a convincing answer.
"I think it speaks for the heart and determination that I have to play this game regardless of issues. I'm here to work," said Jackson, who recorded the 12th 100-yard game of his career. "I'm here to play football and do it at a high level, so any time I can go out there and perform and help my team win, I think it speaks for itself."
Jackson was, as usual, the fastest player on the field and he was open for much of the game. He got the offense going with a 41-yard catch on the team's second possession and then worked the underbelly of the defense before a couple of chances that just missed – one pass glanced off Jackson's hands down the left sideline when he had a step on the secondary, and a diving effort in the end zone toward the end of the half came up just short – as he caught four passes for 70 yards in the opening two quarters.
Then it was Jackson who made a couple of huge plays on a third-quarter drive that gave the Eagles a 14-point lead. Jackson ran a crossing route as the rest of the receivers – the Eagles had four in the game – and caught a pass and gained 26 yards to the Rams 9-yard line. Two plays later, Jackson worked his way free going right to left in the end zone and caught Vick's touch pass for the score to cap a 63-yard drive.
"That touchdown was a good throw," said Jackson. "I didn't think I was going to be able to get to it. I had to turn on the jets a little bit to get to it. But he put the ball where only the receiver could get it and I had to go get it."
The offense immediately answered after St. Louis took a 7-0 lead on Steven Jackson's 47-yard touchdown run on the team's first play from scrimmage and it did. Jackson felt that was an integral part of the win.
"Oh, it was very important. Any time a home team gets momentum in a football game, that's dangerous," said Jackson. "As an offense, we just had to keep going out there and plugging away, staying humble, staying patient, just going out there and looking for any open thing we can get and take it. "
As usual, Jackson gave Vick all kinds of credit. Vick completed just 14 of 32 passes, but he tossed two touchdown passes and added 98 rushing yards.
The offense, at times, was unstoppable.
"He was very calm. He had a lot of different blitzes and things coming at him and they got to him but he was able to stay calm, stay patient, read the defenses and keep us in it," said Jackson. "He had some great big runs like he always does. It's just a pleasure to play with a quarterback like that who's able to, when things break down, still be able to break runs and help us out that way."
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