Actions speak louder than words and they certainly did under the bright lights of Monday night as DeSean Jackson sparked the offense with two exhilarating touchdowns in the Eagles' 27-17 win over the Washington Redskins.
What made the performance extra special is that Jackson vowed during the week leading up to the game that he wanted to have a big performance against Washington. He wanted to make amends for a dropped pass in the end zone in the Week 16 game last season that could have given the Eagles the win.
"It was a huge game for us. We knew we had a lot riding on this game," Jackson said. "With the game I had here last year, I definitely wanted to come and redeem myself. It was big. We needed to set ourselves up for the NFC East and get this first victory. It was huge because we played like a team and we got the job done."
Jackson scored on a 67-yard end around in the first quarter for the game's opening points. He put the Eagles' final points on the board late in the second quarter with a 57-yard touchdown reception from Donovan McNabb. Jackson has scored five total touchdowns this season and all of them were of 50 yards-or-more. According to the Elias Stats Bureau, Jackson is just the second player in team history with a rushing and a receiving touchdown of 50 yards-or-more in the same game joining the illustrious Bosh Pritchard who did it well before Jackson was born in 1949.
Jackson has now scored a rushing, receiving and a return touchdown in each of his first two seasons. Jackson joins a select group of company becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to accomplish the feat, according to the Elias Stats Bureau.
"You really can't even put it into words. A guy his size, the way he plays, the way he runs, you've seen it. He's a special player," running back LeSean McCoy said. "I have got to say that he is probably the best player I've played with or against - in college or pro so far. Just saying that right there means a lot."
On the first score, the Eagles lined up in a bunch formation with the strong side to the right. Brian Westbrook was the single back and Jeremy Maclin was the split end lined up to the left. Donovan McNabb took the snap and faked the handoff to Westbrook which fooled the defense. McNabb handed the ball to Jackson and he went around the left end was off. Jackson out raced safety LaRon Landry and the key block came from Jeremy Maclin who blocked cornerback Carlos Rogers downfield.
"It was the whole offense. I looked up the field and saw nothing but green grass," Jackson said. "Anytime you have teammates putting it on the line for you it's a great situation because I would do the same for them."
On the second touchdown, Rogers played Jackson 12 yards off the ball. Jackson ran a double move and was left wide open. McNabb floated the ball out for him which resulted in the easy touchdown.
"Carlos Rogers is a pretty good corner. We knew that they were biting on double moves," Jackson said. "I ran a 14-yard in (route). He bit. I took that one step and was off. Donovan put it up there and I made a great play."
Eagles fans everywhere held their breath as Jackson left the field shortly after the second touchdown with a foot injury. The injury occurred when Chris Horton took Jackson down in the end zone after the score. Jackson went to the locker room for X-rays, but returned in the second half. He finished with two catches for 69 yards and the one run for 67 yards.
The Eagles won their first division game on the heels of what Jackson said was an "embarrassing" loss last week to the Raiders. Now, the Eagles have to build off the momentum of this win to carry them to the team's ultimate goal.
"We knew we were coming off a pretty bad loss. It was embarrassing. Everyone was like 'The Raiders? Come on,'" Jackson said. "We just had to set ourselves up for what we want to do which is to win the Super Bowl. We have to keep it going."
Now, the NFC East-leading New York Giants await Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:09 a.m., October 27