Eagles Wake-Up Call: DeSean Versus DRC (And Company)

DeSean JacksonDeSean Jackson knows that if the Eagles are to hang with the Broncos on Sunday, their offense is going to have to be in high gear.

“As an offense we just feel like we have to go out there and basically go battle for battle with them, and be able to score as many points as they can and hopefully more,” he said.

The Eagles’ offense cooled off against Kansas City after two strong performances versus Washington and San Diego to open the season. It was no coincidence that Jackson’s game cooled right along with it. He had three catches for 62 yards and was kept out of the end zone Thursday. In the previous two games, he racked up 24 catches, 297 yards and a pair of scores.

“A lot of times guys are focusing on myself. Doing some good things in this offense obviously caused that,” he said. “It’s not a matter where I get frustrated. I understand at times when I run a certain route there might be two guys on me instead of one. I think that will help out the other receivers to be able get open and make big plays to help us win games, so guys aren’t always zoning in on me.”

One defender that could be keying on Jackson regardless is Domininique Rodgers-Cromartie. The former Eagle has been covering the opposition’s top receiver with Champ Bailey (sprained foot) sidelined. Bailey could make his season debut Sunday, but Jackson believes he will be locked up with DRC.

“I’m sure he will probably be on me,” said Jackson. “He is a good friend of mine. The past two years we have been going at it a lot. I know him just as well as he probably knows me, so it will be a great opportunity for both of us to go out there and just compete against each other at a high level. I played against him before he came here, when he was with Arizona. It will be a good challenge for both of us. He’s a good player, I’m a good player so we’ll go out there and fight, battle. We’re friends but once that game starts, I just need to do what I need to do to win the game.”

Chip Kelly was complimentary of Rodgers-Cromartie when asked about the corner on Tuesday, but noted that the Broncos’ safeties do a good job in support. Jackson enters Week 4 as the league’s second-ranked receiver, so it’s a good bet those safeties will not leave DRC out on an island with his former teammate very often.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The Eagles’ defense begins its preparations for Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ attack.

Jason Peters is dealing with a finger injury that he believes will be around for the entire year.

Kelly responds to Manning’s comments about the Eagles getting so much extra time to prepare.

The Eagles worked out a linebacker and a receiver recently.

Sheil looks at the offensive line miscues with help from the All-22 tape.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

ESPN has the Eagles at No. 23 in its most recent power rankings.

Whatever bump the Eagles got from their nationally televised debut at Washington is gone. After two home losses, both games in which they were favored, the Eagles have slid almost back to where they were in the preseason rankings.

It doesn’t help the Eagles that the win at Washington has been diminished by that team’s ensuing two games. Winless Washington (No. 27) and the New York Giants (No. 29) have the NFC East anchored as the worst division in the NFL so far this season.

Chris Burke of SI.com already has a mock draft up for 2014. He has the Eagles picking 10th, and selecting QB Johnny Manziel.

Mariota is the rather obvious match here — he played for Chip Kelly at Oregon and is thriving in the offense Kelly left behind. The MMQB’s Greg Bedard reminded us, though, that Kelly recruited Manziel partially because Johnny Football played in a high school offense similar to Kelly’s attack. This one would be a lot of fun if it happened.

COMING UP

We’ll talk to the coordinators in the morning. Practice starts at 10:50.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.