Stats & Info: DeSean Jackson

Top stats to know: 2014 NFL schedule

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
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Jennifer Stewart/Getty ImagesThe 2014 NFL season will culminate at Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Sure it is April, but the 2014 NFL schedule has been released and that means it is time to get ready for a season full of intriguing matchups.

From high-profile veterans facing their former teams, to the 16th meeting between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, here is a look at some of the early highlights of the 2014 season:

Reunion games
DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith, Chris Johnson, Darrelle Revis, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers.

Those are just a handful of veterans released during the off-season who will have a chance to play against their former teams in 2014.

After a career year in 2013, Jackson was released by the Eagles this off-season. He will face the Eagles twice this season (Week 3 in Philadelphia and Week 16 in Washington).

Smith, the Panthers career leader in touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards, promised there would be "blood and guts everywhere" if he faced the Panthers in 2014 after being released by the team in March. As a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Smith will get a crack at the Panthers on Sept. 28 in Baltimore.

Johnson only joined the Jets a little more than a week ago, but he's already slated for a Tennessee reunion. Johnson and the Jets will travel to Tennessee Week 15 to take on the Titans. Johnson has posted six straight 1,000-yard seasons, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Allen signed a 4-year deal with the Bears at the end of March after spending six seasons in Minnesota. Allen led the NFL with 85.5 sacks during his Vikings tenure. Allen will face the Vikings twice this season (Week 11 and Week 17).

Peppers is now on the other side of the NFL's most-played rivalry after signing a three-year deal with the Packers in March just days after being released by the Bears. Peppers totaled 38 sacks in his four seasons in Chicago and made three Pro Bowls.

And a college reunion
Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles will play the NFC West this season as part of the standard division rotation.

Kelly will have the opportunity to coach against former Pac-10 coaching rivals Pete Carroll (USC) and Jim Harbaugh (Stanford). As a head coach, Kelly was a combined 2-1 against Carroll and Harbaugh with a win over each.

Kelly and the Eagles will also travel to Indianapolis in Week 2 for a Monday Night Football showdown against former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Kelly's Oregon teams were 2-1 against Stanford during Andrew Luck's collegiate career.

Top games
On Nov. 2, Manning and Brady will meet for the 16th time, including the playoffs, tied for the most between any pair of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Manning will also face his former team for the second time as the Broncos will host the Colts to open their season. Manning and the Broncos lost to the Colts 39-33 in 2013.

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the top two picks in the 2012 draft, will meet for the first time in Week 13. In their young careers, Griffin III is 12-16, while Luck is 22-10.

A rematch of last year's Super Bowl, Broncos-Seahawks, will also take place this season. The Seahawks' 35-point margin of victory in the Super Bowl is tied for the third largest in NFL history.

Top stats to know: Jackson to Redskins

April, 2, 2014
Apr 2
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Late Tuesday, the Washington Redskins agreed to a three-year deal with wide receiver DeSean Jackson, bolstering themselves in an area at which they were lacking depth heading into the 2014 season.

Jackson had career-highs with 82 catches, 1,332 receiving yards and tied a career-high with nine touchdown receptions for the Philadelphia Eagles last season. He's one of three receivers to average at least 17 yards per catch over the last six seasons, along with Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd.

It's part of a Redskins retooling under new head coach Jay Gruden.

How he fits
The Redskins appear set to replace Santana Moss and Josh Morgan with Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson for next season, offering Robert Griffin III (and Pierre Garcon) a little more help.

Griffin completed 63 percent of passes targeting Garcon last season, but only 56 percent targeting all other wide receivers.

Jackson has thrived against the NFC East throughout his career. His 17.7 yards per catch against the division rank fourth-most since his first season, 2008. He has 10 career touchdowns, five of which came against the Redskins.

Jackson and Roberts combined for 125 catches last season, more than twice as many as Moss and Morgan (62).

Best skill: Big yardage
The graphic atop this article illustrated where Jackson can be a difference maker.

Only the Rams (5) had fewer 40-yard pass plays than the Redskins (6). The Eagles led the league with 18, eight of which were recorded by Jackson.

Jackson should help a struggling Griffin with his deep ball. Jackson had two more touchdown receptions (7) on passes at least 15 yards downfield than Griffin had touchdown passes (5) on such throws last season.

Nick Foles connected on 71 percent of his throws to Jackson, the second-highest completion percentage among the NFL's quarterback-receiver duos (Aaron Rodgers had a 75 percent completion percentage to Jordy Nelson).

There are 31 receivers or tight ends who have at least 300 catches from 2008 to 2013. Jackson's 5.5 yards after catch per reception average is the best of those 31.

Keys to victory: Saints 26, Eagles 24

January, 5, 2014
Jan 5
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Howard Smith/USA TODAY SportsMark Ingram helped lead a Saints rushing attack that racked up 185 yards against the Eagles


The New Orleans Saints picked up the first road playoff win in their franchise’s history Saturday – here’s how they got it done:

Flipped the script
During the regular season the Philadelphia Eagles were the most productive running team in the NFL at 160.4 yards per game. The Saints held them to half their average at an even 80 yards. The Saints defense held LeSean McCoy to 2.9 yards per rush between the tackles, his second-lowest average this season and the lowest allowed by the Saints. The Eagles lost all three games this season when McCoy averaged 3.0 yards per rush or fewer between the tackles.

New Orleans, meanwhile, averaged 92.1 yards per game on the ground, but exploded for 185 on Saturday. That’s good for second-most in Saints playoff history.

Mark Ingram filled in for the injured Pierre Thomas and rushed for 97 yards and a score. The 97 yards are the second-most Ingram has racked up in any game in his pro career. Ingram ran for 73 yards on designed rushes to the right, including his 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Brees bounces back from rough first half
Drew Brees was 10-18 for 98 yards and two interceptions in the first half. Brees’ teams had been 0-3 all-time in games in which he had thrown a pick. But Brees bucked that trend by bouncing back in the second half – completing 10 of 12 passes for 152 yards and a score.

At the end of the first half, Brees' QBR was 12.9. In the second half, it was 93.5.

ESPN Stats & Information

Limited Foles’ downfield opportunities
Nick Foles led the NFL with 9.1 yards per pass attempt during the regular season. Saturday he averaged 5.9 yards per attempt.

The Saints held the Eagles to one play of 25 yards or more, tied for the fewest by the Eagles in a game this season. The Eagles led the NFL with 62 such plays during the regular season.

That one play was a 40-yard catch by Desean Jackson, who was otherwise neutralized. Other than that big play he had two catches for 13 yards.

Top things to know: Chiefs at Eagles

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
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Rob Foldy/USA TODAY SportsAndy Reid, who spent 14 seasons as the Eagles' head coach, returns to his old stomping grounds.
Week 3 of the NFL kicks off tonight as the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs travel to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Here are five stats to keep in mind entering this game.

1. Andy Reid takes his 2-0 Chiefs into Philadelphia, where he coached the Eagles for 14 seasons (1999-2012). Reid has more wins than any coach in Eagles history (130) and won six division titles and reached five NFC Championship Games (winning one).

Reid will be the third coach in NFL history to face a team he coached for at least 14 seasons, joining Curly Lambeau (Packers) and Hank Stram (Chiefs).

2. QB Alex Smith has been an instant upgrade for the Chiefs. Smith hasn’t turned the ball over yet this year and has finished drives effectively, two problem areas for Kansas City’s offense last year.

Smith has passed for four touchdowns and, as mentioned above, has not thrown an interception. The Chiefs threw for eight touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2012.

In addition, the Chiefs have scored a touchdown on all five trips into the red zone this season after doing so only 10 times in 37 trips in 2012.

3. The Eagles had the ball for 19:43 in Week 2, their lowest time of possession since Week 17 in 2009. Philadelphia still managed to run 58 plays, or one for every 20.4 seconds of possession.

Only the Bills (21.8) and Broncos (23.2) have fewer seconds of possession per play this season than Philadelphia.

4. QB Michael Vick has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes to WR DeSean Jackson this season despite targeting him 15 yards downfield on average. Vick has improved his completion percentage to Jackson each season with the Eagles.

Going further, Jackson has gained 140 yards after the catch this season, an average of 8.8 YAC per reception. Jackson averaged 5.4 yards after the catch his first five seasons in the NFL.

Misc. Notes
•  The Chiefs are 2-0 after going 2-14 last season. Since the merger (1970), Kansas City is the seventh team to open a season 2-0 after winning two or fewer games the previous season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. None of the previous six teams, however, made the playoffs.

•  Kansas City is looking to start 3-0 for the third time in the last 15 years (2010 and 2003).

•  The Eagles have lost seven straight home games, the longest active home losing streak in the NFL and their longest home losing streak since 1983 (seven games). The Eagles have lost eight straight home games only once, from 1936-37.

•  RB LeSean McCoy leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage (356), 59 yards ahead of teammate DeSean Jackson, who is second. They have combined for the third-most yards from scrimmage ever by teammates through two games of a season.

Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed gained 693 yards in the first two games of the 1991 season for the Bills; Billy Sims and Dexter Bussey went for 675 yards for the 1980 Detroit Lions.

Eagles' high-speed style works just fine

September, 9, 2013
9/09/13
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LeSean McCoy had one of the best games of his career on Monday.
Chip Kelly promised a much different look for the Philadelphia Eagles' offense in his first season as head coach.

His team’s first half may have halted the comments of any doubters regarding whether Kelly’s style could work in the NFL.

Let’s run through the highlights of Kelly’s first win as an NFL head coach, a 33-27 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Key to the game: Pace of play
After a hiccup on the opening drive led to a Redskins score, the Eagles’ turbo-speed offense caused the Redskins problem after problem in the game’s first 30 minutes.

The Eagles had 21 first downs at halftime, matching the number of plays run by the Redskins in the first two quarters.

The Eagles had 53 plays by halftime. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that is the most plays in a first half of an NFL game since the Vikings had 56 on December 13, 1998, against the Ravens.

The Eagles' 26 first-half points matched their high for points in a game from 2012.

Difference maker: LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy had 31 carries for 184 yards, one yard shy of his career high.

McCoy's 34-yard touchdown run was his sixth rushing touchdown of at least 30 yards since 2010, tied with Chris Johnson for the second most in the league during that span.

Only Adrian Peterson has more such rushing touchdowns since 2010 (seven).

McCoy had 178 of those yards on runs that were inside the tackles, his most such yards in any game.

McCoy’s 184 yards rushing were the most in a season opener on the road since Duce Staley ran for 201 for the Eagles in 2000 against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles ran 49 times (their most in a game since 1997) for 263 yards (their most since 2002). They gained 245 yards using the zone read, more than any other team in a game in the past five seasons.

RG III with a rough welcome back
Robert Griffin III had a brief run of success in the Redskins' late comeback, but struggled through much of the game. This marked the first time in his career that he threw multiple interceptions in a game.

Our video-review crew had Griffin III with 11 throws judged to be off-target, the most in any game in his first two seasons in the NFL. His previous high was eight against the Bengals in Week 3 last season.

Griffin was was off-target on 15 percent of his passes in 2012, the fifth-lowest rate in the league.

The Vick-Jackson connection
DeSean Jackson had a huge start to the game for the Eagles, finishing with seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.

It was Jackson’s 16th game with 100 or more receiving yards, fifth-most in team history. The franchise record is 23 by Pete Retzlaff, who played for the team from 1956 to 1966.

Michael Vick threw for two touchdowns ran for another (the 35th of his career, matching the total of another former Eagles quarterback, Randall Cunninghgam) and had an interception-free game. The last time Vick accounted for three scores and didn’t throw an interception was in 2010 against the Redskins, also on "Monday Night Football."

Did You Know?
The Eagles’ safety was the fourth in the NFL in the opening week of the season. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that this is the first Week 1 in NFL history in which there were four safeties.

The Eagles-Redskins game was the 11th game this week decided by seven points or fewer, tied for the most in Week 1 since the merger in 1970. There were also 11 in 2011.

Jackson earns franchise label from Eagles

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
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Nick Laham/Getty Images
DeSean Jackson scores on a 65-yard punt return as the clock expires to give the Eagles a win over the Giants in 2010. The Eagles placed their franchise tag on Jackson on Thursday.
After a record-tying 14 players received the franchise tag last season, it took more than 10 days of the franchise tag period for the first player be tabbed in 2012. The Philadelphia Eagles ended the drought Thursday, tagging wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Jackson earned his one-year tender of more than $9 million after outperforming the rookie deal he signed after being selected by the Eagles with the 49th pick in the 2008 draft.

Since entering the league, Jackson has an NFL-best 25 receptions of 40 or more yards and a league-high 14 touchdowns of at least 50 yards. He’s scored long touchdowns at an historic rate; Jackson’s nine 50-yard touchdowns in 2009 tied the NFL single-season record held by Devin Hester (2007) and Elroy Hirsch (1951).

Jackson also has the ability to score from all over the field. He’s scored at least once on a rush, reception and punt return in three of his four seasons. The only player in league history to with more seasons with a rushing, receiving and punt return touchdown is Eric Metcalf, who did it every year from 1992 to 1995.

There is speculation that tagging Jackson could be the Eagles’ first step towards trading him before the start of the season. If Jackson ends up playing elsewhere in 2012, his time in Philadelphia might be best remembered for his game-winning 65-yard punt return touchdown against the New York Giants in 2010, also known as the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jackson’s walk-off punt return was the longest game-winning touchdown on the final play of regulation in more than 50 years. Detroit Lions tight end Jim Gibbons hauled in a 65-yard TD to beat the Colts on Dec. 4, 1960.

With franchise tag season upon us, here are other things to know about the tag:

• Since the tag was created in 1993, 31 of the 32 active franchises have used it. The Atlanta Falcons, who are reportedly considering using the tag on Brent Grimes this year, have never franchised a player. No team has used the tag more than the Seattle Seahawks, who have franchised a player 10 times.

• Over the past 19 years, 138 different players have been franchised, none more so than tackles Walter Jones and Orlando Pace, both of whom received the tag on three separate occasions. Jones was tagged each year from 2002 to 2004. Pace was tagged each year from 2003 to 2005.

The tag has been used 155 times, with offensive and defensive linemen accounting for nearly 43 percent of the players tagged. Defensive linemen have been tagged 39 times, with defensive tackles (20 times) and defensive ends (19) receiving the tag with almost equal frequency.

Offensive linemen have been tagged 27 times, 21 of which have been offensive tackles, the most of any single position.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick didn’t have any miracle finishes in him against the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday night.

We can sum up Vick’s performance in a few different ways, with the aid of our video review crew.

When Vick tried to throw the ball downfield, more often than not, he failed. Vick went 5-for-16 with an interception on passes that traveled at least 10 yards in the air.

Most of those attempts went the way of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Vick threw the ball Jackson’s way 12 times, but completed only two passes for 32 yards. Jackson was overthrown twice and underthrown twice, and also dropped one of those pass attempts. Vick made five attempts to get Jackson the ball by throwing it 21 yards or further. None of those tries were successful.

In fact, Vick has completed just five of his last 21 attempts to the two-time Pro Bowl selection over the last two weeks.

One of the strategies that the Vikings used to keep Vick bottled up was to blitz from the secondary. Minnesota used a defensive back or safety as a blitzer 16 times, and netted as many sacks (four) as it allowed completed passes. Vick was only able to scramble away twice, managing 14 yards on those runs, but no game-breaking gains.

In contrast to Vick’s struggles, Vikings quarterback Joe Webb managed an efficient game and handled the blitz to earn his first NFL win. He was 10-for-13 for 84 yards when the Eagles sent at least five pass rushers at him.

Webb was aided by running back Adrian Peterson. The Eagles spent much of the game defending with a seven-man box and Peterson made them pay. He averaged nearly eight yards per carry against that line, an increase from the 4.5 yards he’d averaged prior to that.

The Eagles had won five straight and eight of their past nine games against the Vikings prior to Tuesday. Philladelphia also had its six-game home win streak against the Vikings snapped. The last time the Vikings won a road game in Philadelphia was December 1, 1985. Webb was born nearly a year later on November 13, 1986.

Eagles own the Giants with big plays

December, 21, 2010
12/21/10
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DeSean Jackson
Jackson
• The Philadelphia Eagles have defeated the New York Giants six straight times (including playoffs). Philadelphia's big-play ability has killed Big Blue before and it did so again with Michael Vick at the helm Sunday. In the teams' last four meetings, the Eagles have eight touchdowns of 50 or more yards -- four by WR DeSean Jackson (54-yard reception in first meeting, 72-yard punt return and 60-yard reception in second meeting, 65-yard punt return in fourth meeting).

• For anyone that thinks some NFL teams have quit: it’s a little hard to confirm such a theory, but it should be noted that five teams came into the weekend with at least 10 losses (Bills, Bengals, Broncos, Lions and Panthers) and all but Denver won on Sunday.

• More often than not (2008 was an exception), there are more divisional sweeps than splits. In 2009, teams swept teams 31 times and split 17 times. This season so far, there have been 11 sweeps and 17 splits.

• It looks like the city of Detroit has put in an ordinance to stop streaking. Last week, the Lions ended their 19-game skid against divisional foes with a 7-3 win over the Green Bay Packers. On Sunday, Jim Schwartz’s club snapped a 26-game road losing streak with a 23-20 OT win at Tampa Bay. Next up is 2011, when the Lions hope to end 10 straight seasons with a losing record (2001-10).

• Another aspect of the Kansas City Chiefs’ improvement this season that has gone unnoticed: in 2008, Kansas City set a dubious NFL record by recording only 10 sacks all season. And from 2008-09, Chiefs defenders totaled a mere 32 sacks in as many games. Romeo Crennel’s unit has already amassed 32 sacks in 14 games this season.

• Entering Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts had rushed for 1,036 yards in 13 games (79.7 YPG), while the Jacksonville Jaguars had totaled 1,157 yards rushing (192.8 YPG) in their past six games alone. In Indianapolis’ 34-24 win, Jim Caldwell’s team ran for 155 yards and Jacksonville managed just 67 yards on the ground.

• The 7-7 Oakland Raiders (5-0 vs. AFC West rivals) may be on the verge of doing something not done. Dating to 1970 (aka the merger), teams went unbeaten in division play 29 times and each time the team reached the playoffs. Oakland is two games behind the Chiefs in the AFC West and travels to Kansas City in Week 17. Stay tuned.

• The AFC took all four head-to-head matchups with the NFC this week and have already locked up the season series "title." While there have been some ties along the way, the NFC has not beaten the AFC in the regular-season series since 1995.
Monday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings gave the Chicago Bears their third division title under Lovie Smith and the fourth title since the legendary Mike Ditka left. The Bears are now 5-0 in divisional games and could become the 1st NFC North team to finish undefeated in the division since realignment in 2002.

While Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson may have dominated the pregame headlines, it was Jay Cutler and Devin Hester who had the last word.

Hester's 64-yard punt return TD in the third quarter gave him an NFL-record 14 career punt/kick return touchdowns. His 10 career punt return touchdowns are tied with Eric Metcalf for most in NFL history. Needless to say, after witnessing the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson put a hole in the Giants playoff hopes, it was fitting to see Hester do the same for the Vikings.

While Hester might have marked the most exciting performance in the game, it was Cutler’s return-to-form that is most significant for the Bears fortunes moving forward. Entering last week’s contest with the New England Patriots, it seemed like everything was clicking for Cutler; over the previous two games, he’d averaged 240.5 passing yards per game to go along with 74.5 percent completion rate and five touchdowns against zero interceptions.

And then the Patriots game happened, when Cutler threw two interceptions, no touchdowns and posted a 46.2 percent completion rate, his second-worst this season.

But Monday, Cutler looked much more like the guy who had so easily dismantled the Eagles and Lions. Cutler limited his interceptions -- just one -- while throwing three touchdowns. It was quite a turnaround in unfavorable conditions for Cutler. He struggled last Sunday in the elements when the Patriots used packages of five-or-more defensive backs on the field. Cutler turned it around on Monday when the Vikings went small, throwing all three of his touchdown passes.

If you take out the Patriots game, Cutler has tossed eight touchdowns and one interception since the game against the Eagles, completing passes at a 69 percent rate. That’s the sort of play that results in 40 points scored -- their most in a road game against the Vikings since scoring 45 in 1965.

And if Cutler is playing under control, there’s no telling how far the Bears can go.
More on the Philadelphia Eagles' wild comeback win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

By now, everyone knows that DeSean Jackson returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown, crossing the goal line with no time on the clock to break a tie and give the Eagles a 38-31 win after being down 21 points less than eight minutes earlier. The Giants also led by 21 at halftime, making this the third time in the last 70 years that they have lost a game after leading by at least that much at intermission.

The touchdown was Jackson's 11th that covered 60 yards or more, by far the most of that kind since he entered the league in 2008. He leads the league with four 60-yard scores this season alone. Since 1960, only Gale Sayers (12) has scored more 60-yard touchdowns before his 25th birthday than Jackson has, and the Eagles star doesn't turn 25 until December 1, 2011.

Michael Vick ran for 130 yards -- 94 of them in the fourth quarter -- and a touchdown, the fourth-most rushing yards he's ever had in a single game and the most he's had as an Eagle.

Michael Vick
Vick
Vick also threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns, becoming just the third player since 1960 to run for 100 yards, throw for 200 and have at least three total touchdowns. The other two were also Eagles quarterbacks: Donovan McNabb against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002 and Randall Cunningham against the New England Patriots in 1990.

According to the win probability information at AdvancedNFLStats.com, here was the Eagles’ chance of winning at various points during Sunday’s game against the Giants at the Meadowlands. The numbers are based on historical averages for NFL teams in the same situation.

Philadelphia rallied from having about a 1-in-100 chance of winning after the Giants took a 31-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter all the way back to a 100 percent definite victory after DeSean Jackson’s “walk-off” punt-return TD. Jackson’s return alone accounted for a 46 percent increase in win probability for the Eagles.

DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return for a touchdown on the final play of the game completed an epic comeback for the Philadelphia Eagles, as the team overcame a 21-point deficit over the final 8:17 of the fourth quarter. While Jackson’s play alone would have been a poignant moment on which to end a game, the ramifications reach far beyond just this one game.

It was the Eagles' sixth straight win against the New York Giants, including the playoffs, and it was possible thanks to the former scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter. Not only was it the most points in the fourth quarter in franchise history, the Eagles also became the first team to score 28 points in the final eight minutes to win a game since 1960, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. In addition, Elias can confirm that it’s only the ninth time in NFL history a team has trailed by 21 or more points in the fourth quarter and come back to win.

In addition, Jackson’s decisive punt return to end it was the longest game-winning touchdown on the final play of regulation since 1960. The last time there was a punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter that was a go-ahead score and was the final scoring play of the game was on October 16, 2006, when Devin Hester had an 83-yard return for a 24-23 win for the Chicago Bears over the Arizona Cardinals. The last time the Eagles had a punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter that was a go-ahead score was on October 19, 2003, when Brian Westbrook broke off an 84-yard return that erased a 10-7 deficit en route to a 14-10 win at the Giants.

Speaking of Giants collapses, they lost despite leading 24-3 at halftime, the third time in the last 70 years that the Giants lose a game after leading by 21 or more points at half. Eli Manning tied a career high with 4 Pass TD, his fifth career 4-Pass TD game, certainly helping to open the floodgates for the Eagles.

However, as with most of the Eagles wins this season, the comeback was less about Jackson or the Giants and more about potential MVP candidate Michael Vick. The Giants defense used five or more defensive backs on 54 of the 59 snaps the Eagles had on Sunday, and for three quarters Vick under control. However, in the fourth quarter Vick dominated the Giants defense, improving on both his 99.5 passer rating (2nd in NFL) and his 483 rushing yards (1st among QB) entering the game against five or more defensive backs.

While the comeback was historic and the game thoroughly entertaining, what does it all mean? With the win, the Eagles can clinch the NFC East with a win in either of their last two games. It also made the road significantly more difficult for the Giants, who now need to win out and have the Eagles lose out to win the division, largely because the Eagles own the head-to-head in the event the two finish tied. Needless to say, the comeback had significant relevance to both this season and the annals of the game.

In other NFL news today...

• In his first start since 2008, Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman recorded his first game of four touchdowns since Sept. 17, 2006.

• Kansas City Chiefs running back Thomas Jones became the 25th player to record 10,000 rushing yards in a career in the Chiefs' win over the St. Louis Rams.

• Ray Rice's 233 yards from scrimmage marked the third-most scrimmage yards in a game in Baltimore Ravens franchise history.

• And, for the first time since Week 8 of the 2007 season, the Detroit Lions won a game on the road, snapping their NFL-record 26-game road losing streak with a 23-20 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rams, Chiefs author huge turnarounds

December, 17, 2010
12/17/10
12:53
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ESPN NFL Research Coordinator Russell Baxter's Top Five Things to Know as heard this morning on Mike and Mike in the Morning .

• The 8-5 Kansas City Chiefs lead the AFC West, while the 6-7 St. Louis Rams are co-leaders of the NFC West. The teams combined for just five wins in 2009. Keep in mind that St. Louis had won just six games the previous three seasons (2007-09), a span in which Kansas City won only 10 games.

• The Baltimore Ravens have allowed 13 TD passes in their past seven games (allowed four TD passes in first six games in 2010). And Baltimore has also had its problems in the fourth quarter and overtime, allowing a whopping 108 points.

DeSean Jackson
Jackson
• The Philadelphia Eagles have totaled six TD plays of 50 or more yards in their past three games against the New York Giants dating to 2009 -- three by WR DeSean Jackson (54-yard catch in the first meeting, 72-yard punt return for TD and 60-yard reception in second meeting). Including playoffs, the Birds have beaten Big Blue five straight times.

• The Indianapolis Colts have rushed for 1,036 yards in 13 games this season (79.7 yards per game), while the Jacksonville Jaguars have totaled 1,157 yards rushing (192.8 yards per game) in their past six games. Jacksonville is in position to sweep the Colts for the first time ever.

• Including playoffs, the New York Jets are 3-16 all-time against the Pittsburgh Steelers dating to 1970, including 0-7 lifetime at Pittsburgh. New York’s offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in two straight games, bad news against a Steelers team that has given up just 36 points in its past four games.
DeSean Jackson
Jackson
DeSean Jackson had another huge game for the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night in a 30-27 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Jackson had four catches for a career-high 210 yards, the third-highest single-game total in franchise history. And he did most of that damage off of play-action fakes.

In fact, when Michael Vick used play-action he was 3-for-3 for 173 yards and a 91-yard touchdown when targeting Jackson, completing just one of the five passes he threw Jackson’s way without the play fake.

Overall, Vick had a 104.2 passer rating and two touchdown passes using play-action and averaged nearly 19 yards per attempt. Without the play-action fake, his rating was 49.5 without a touchdown and just 5.1 yards per pass attempt.

That continues a trend where Vick uses play-action fakes to freeze the defense and allow Jackson to outrun the coverage.

Vick is over five times more likely to throw a play-action TD to Jackson than anyone else, and he averaged an incredible 57.7 yards per attempt to Jackson on Sunday.

And when the Eagles didn’t fake the run, LeSean McCoy ran all over the Cowboys defense, especially up the middle. McCoy rushed for 120 yards on 12 attempts between the tackles Sunday night (10.0 yards per attempt). Dallas entered Week 14 having allowed only 3.0 yards per attempt up the middle this season, third-lowest in the NFL.
Michael Vick
Vick
In the 40-year history of Monday Night Football, never before had a team scored as many points as the Philadelphia Eagles did Monday. Led by Michael Vick's four touchdowns passing and two touchdowns rushing, the Eagles beat the Washington Redskins, 59-28 at FedExField. The Eagles racked up 592 total yards, their most in franchise history. It was the first game in NFL history with a 59-28 score.

Vick completed all but eight passes for 333 yards and rushed for 80 yards. It was Vick's third career game with four touchdown passes and he became just the third player in NFL history with 300 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Of all the crazy events, facts and statistics about the Eagles–Redskins game on Monday, we liked this one the best: the Eagles had 332 passing yards and 260 rushing yards. There’s been only one other NFL game over the last 30 seasons in which a team had at least 300 passing and 250 rushing yards, and it featured the same head coaches as Monday’s game. On Oct. 30, 2005, in the only game before this season in which Mike Shanahan and Andy Reid had faced each other, Shanahan’s Broncos threw for 309 and ran for 255 in a 49–21 win over Reid’s Eagles.

FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Michael Vick’s 88-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson on the first play from scrimmage was the longest TD pass in the opening minute of a game in just over 41 years, since Roman Gabriel threw a 93-yard touchdown to Wendell Tucker in the opening minute of a 41–30 Rams win over the 49ers on Nov. 9, 1969.
The Detroit Lions have now lost 24 straight road games, tying their own record for the longest road losing streak in NFL history. (The Lions also lost 24 straight on the road from 2001-03.)

The Lions were coming off a Week 5 win over the St. Louis Rams, but failed to win Sunday at the New York Giants. The Lions have now gone 46 consecutive games without winning back-to-back games -- a streak that dates back to 2007.

• Before getting knocked out of the game against the Atlanta Falcons, DeSean Jackson had a 31-yard TD run and 34-yard TD reception. Since the merger in 1970, there have now been five instances where a player had a 30-yard rushing and receiving TD in the same game, but Jackson is the only one who has done it twice. (His first instance was Oct. 26, 2009 against the Redskins.)

• Kevin Kolb became the third quarterback in NFL history with three 300-yard passing games in his first five NFL starts, and the first since Kurt Warner in 1999.

• The Falcons are 0-2 in the state of Pennsylvania this season, 4-0 everywhere else.

• The Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings now has four career touchdown receptions of at least 80 yards. That's the most in franchise history and tied with the Bills' Lee Evans for the most among active players.
Vrabel
• Including the postseason, Mike Vrabel has 12 career receptions and all 12 have gone for touchdowns.

• The Chicago Bears have yet to score a third-quarter point this season (outscored 15-0). They are the only NFL team that has not scored in all four quarters this season.

•  Miami Dolphins' Brandon Marshall has registered double-digit receptions now two games this season. The only other player in team history with multiple 10-reception games in a season is Tony Nathan, who had two in 1985.

• Granted one takeaway was on a hail mary at the end of regulation, but the Baltimore Ravens forced two turnovers and did not turn the ball over in their 23-20 overtime loss to the New England Patriots. It's just the third time in team history the Ravens have lost a game when forcing at least two turnovers and not committing one themselves and the first time since the 1998 season.

• From the Elias Sports Bureau: Ben Roethlisberger is now 11-1 (.917) against the Cleveland Browns. With a minimum of 10 starts, that's the second-highest win percentage against an opponent among active quarterbacks. Tom Brady is 16-1 (.941) against the Buffalo Bills.

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