Somewhere, Ray Lewis has DeSean Jackson's jersey.
In a sign of mutual respect, Jackson and Lewis swapped game jerseys after the Eagles' come-from-behind 24-23 win over the visiting Baltimore Ravens. Luckily for Lewis, that jersey's going to have plenty of value following Jackson's memorable performance on the day.
Listed as questionable with a hamstring injury coming into the game, Jackson fought through the injury that he said kept him to "85 to 90 percent" health. But Jackson didn't just play, he made a significant impact, catching seven passes for 114 yards, including one 49-yard reception in double coverage. Jackson's seven receptions were the most he's accounted for since Week of the 2010 season, 25 games ago.
"It was almost like a game-time decision," Jackson said. "But anything I could do to get out there and help my team win this game. I was actually able to get out here early. I felt (the hamstring) throughout the game a little bit, but still I was able to go out there and be productive."
As he was stuffing Lewis' purple jersey into his backpack, Jackson asked the media throng behind him how many turnovers the Eagles committed on the day. After shaking his head, the wide receiver explained why those giveaways are so frustrating.
"Going into halftime (losing) 17-7, we were very angry at ourselves and came in the locker room and said that the second half was going to be different," Jackson said. "When we went out there in the second half, it definitely proved that we can play with the best in this league. You cut away those turnovers, I think best team in the league, hands down."
In what became a very physical game, Jackson was often in the middle of the post-play extracurricular activities, even drawing an offsetting 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty after a shoving match with Ravens cornerback Cary Williams. Later, when Jackson found himself on the other end of Michael Vick's 49-yard toss down the right sideline, Jackson took a big hit from the safety but held onto the ball. As teammates came over to check on the receiver, Jackson proceeded not only to lift himself back up, but to show off a few pushups first. In all, it was the kind of vintage DeSean performance that had been missing at times last season.
And for his part, after two hard-fought one-point victories, Jackson, never one to lack confidence, believes that something special is brewing with this Eagles team.
"I'm just very impressed about the guys today," Jackson said. ". We know what we have in store honestly. We had a great mini-camp, a great offseason and things like that. With this being the second game of the year, having the preseason we had, going undefeated, I think we're just trying to keep everything on a roll. As long as we're able to keep playing the way we are right now, like I said, sky's the limit."
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