INDIANAPOLIS – Donovan McNabb doesn't need to establish any kind of comfort level with wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Catching 62 passes as a rookie and then ramping up his game in the off-season has made Jackson the undisputed go-to player in the passing game.
McNabb and Jackson paired up on Thursday night for first of what should be many times this season and it resulted in a touchdown for the Eagles, a highlight on a night when there weren't many for the offense.
Jackson ran a pretty post pattern and McNabb threw an absolutely perfect pass just out of the reach of the defense into Jackson's fingertips for a touchdown in the Eagles' game at the Colts.
Playing behind a line minus four starters, McNabb generally didn't have a lot of time to throw. The offense failed to take advantage of one scoring opportunity when Jason Babin and the defense forced a Peyton Manning fumble that Akeem Jordan recovered at the Indianapolis 24-yard line, only to turn the ball over on a sack and fumble four plays later.
McNabb went 5 of 7 for 77 yards and the touchdown before calling it a night believing that once the Eagles get healthy, the offense will find its rhythm.
"We are taking a step ahead. There were a lot of things we could take out of this," said McNabb. "We weren't able to start the way we wanted to start last week. This week, we did. We can take some things out of this. The positive thing about it is that once we get all our guys healthy we can get things really rolling."
Jackson caught two passes for 46 yards and was an explosive element. He and McNabb formed quite a pair last year and are primed for even more this season.
In fact, McNabb knows that if he throws the ball out in space, Jackson is going to go out and get it.
"You are just trying to recognize the defense, you focus on the front and the coverage and you give your guys an opportunity to make a play for you. It was the coverage we wanted and DeSean did a great job of getting over the top, which made my job a lot easier," said McNabb. "In that situation, you just want to put the ball out there and give him a good chance of making a play for you and he did."
On a night that wasn't exactly as the Eagles scripted, ending on a positive note pleased McNabb.
"It was very important. We were able to get some plays down there and get good field position from our defense," said McNabb. "Not being able to capitalize is just not going to get the job done. On our first drive we got some positive plays, but not enough first downs. When we were third and two, we weren't able to capitalize. There are a lot of different things we have to learn from and watch, but there were a lot of positive things we could take out of it."