Eagles Wake-Up Call: Jackson, Cooper Get Loose

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TAMPA, Fla. — On the first offensive play of the game, it was clear the Eagles had a plan for DeSean Jackson.

The team’s No. 1 receiver lined up in the backfield next to Nick Foles before motioning to the left side. Darrelle Revis? He was on the opposite side of the field when the ball was snapped, practically in a different time zone.


As they've done all season, the Eagles moved Jackson around to create favorable matchups against the Bucs. His second touchdown, a 36-yarder, came from the slot.

"We didn't know if he [Revis] would follow me inside or not," Jackson said. "He's more of an outside corner, so I don't think he likes to cover inside with plays like that. So we just took as a mismatch with me and the safeties. That was a great call by Chip [Kelly] at the right time."

Overall, Jackson caught all six passes thrown his way for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns. On the season, he has 34 catches for 589 yards, more than other wide receiver in the game. Only Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (593 yards) has been more productive.

Jackson has been a non-factor in the red zone for most of his career, but he's now scored inside the 20 two weeks in a row.

"It's great opportunities I'm having," Jackson said. "Getting the chance to be able to go out there and make plays in the red zone. I always felt like I can be a threat regardless of where the ball is on the field. I have a coach that believes in me out there and likes to call my number. Second week in a row that I've had a red zone touchdown. Any opportunities I'm able to get to go out there and make plays for my team and help us win games, that's what we look for."

Jackson is on pace for 91 catches, 1,570 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those would all be career highs.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, the Eagles got something that had been missing in the first five games: production from Riley Cooper. The Eagles' No. 2 wide receiver had more yards (120) than he had in the first five games combined. He got loose for a 47-yard bomb down the left sideline, making a nice play on the ball against rookie Johnthan Banks, and also showed some YAC ability, taking a hitch 44 yards.

"Some guys would get upset for not getting the ball, but I'm not a very selfish person," Cooper said. "I just want to win games. Like I keep saying, everyone's time is going to come, and today I got a few looks and a couple plays. It's just a new offense."

Overall, when throwing to Jackson and Cooper, Foles was 10-for-12 for 184 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles have scored 67 points in their last two wins combined.

WHAT YOU MISSED

"He takes everything like there’s a way that he should outsmart people." Kelly and the Eagles got the run game back on track.

Michael Vick says he can't worry about losing the starting job.

Kelly left the door open at QB with his post-game comments, writes T-Mac.

Post-game Eagles-Bucs observations.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com hands out his post-game awards:

The "So What, Everyone Beats the Bucs" Award: People

The Eagles have beaten 3 teams with a combined record of 1-14, as of this writing. You can either look at it as the Eagles only beating bad teams, or you can look at it as the Eagles beating the teams they should beat. I guess it just depends on whether you're an optimist or a pessimist. To be fair, the Bucs lost 3 of their games by 3 points or less, and the Eagles beat them by 11.

Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com makes the case for Foles to start:

Did Foles do enough to win the job from Vick? You know what. Yeah. He did. Gotta find out if he’s the future. He lit up a really good defense Sunday with 22 for 31 for 296 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. So far this year, he’s 46 for 61 (67 percent) for 542 yards with six TDs and no INTs. He’s been exceptional. What else could he have done? It’s time.

COMING UP

We'll hear from Kelly at 1 and have more reaction.

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  • GEAGLE

    Y’all know what I think lol

    • aub32

      HAHAHAHA

  • Chuck Dougherty

    Biggest difference between the two QB is that Foles throws a better catchable ball…you don’t see too many drops with Foles..Vick has a cannon of an arm, which is great if you run a verticle offence…which we DON’T run!
    Foles is just a better fit to the system chip is installing…

    • aub32

      Wow I must have been watching the wrong game because I could have sworn two of Foles TDs came from going vertical when the short stuff stopped working after the first quarter.

      • Chuck Dougherty

        Never said he couldn’t throw deep…chip’s offense is base on quick release, short and intermedeiate range with a few bombs mixed in to keep the D’s honest..
        Foles showed that he can make all the throws..Vick has shown that he has a hard time with that..a short pass for vick has to be a 15 yard pass..and even that is without a “touch”. They are all laser throws..thats why you see a lot of dropped or deflected passes feom him.

  • Weapon Y

    The wide receiver position could be primed to become a serious strength on this offseason. I’ve pounded the table in favor of offering Jeremy Maclin a generous contract. If the Eagles can be a playoff team this year, maybe he stays around out of curiosity. I have a feeling Andy is going to have his way getting him to become a Chief though. Riley Cooper clearly isn’t meant to be a starter, but he can stay on with a limited role. I’d really like to draft a receiver in the early rounds as well. Sammy Watkins, Marqise Lee, and Mike Evans all look legit 1st round picks. The guy I have my eye on, as a PSU student, is Allen Robinson. He might still be there in the 2nd-3rd round, which would allow the Eagles to get a good defensive player in the 1st. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind getting a flanker RB/WR hybrid like De’Anthony Thomas who has freakish speed.

    • Adam

      I wouldn’t give Maclin a generous contract. Give him an incentive laden rental contract. Let him prove what he can do.

      • Chris

        I love the idea, but i don’t know that he would take it, i’d bet that he’d get a better offer from another team that needs a decent #1/#2 receiver

        • Adam

          Could be, but I think he might give us a hometown discount. Plus remember this is the 2nd time he’s tore this ACL. Team’s will be reluctant to pay out for a guy who’s got a real bum knee, especially a speedster like Mac.

        • Weapon Y

          I agree. I think that he’d look at a “rental” contract as a lowball offer and leave Philly if that happened. Maybe I don’t offer him DJax money, but just under that. The whole point of drafting a WR in rounds 1-3 is to have a better Plan B and C than we had this year, and to give the QB a terrifying group of WRs.

          • Adam

            I’m not so sure about that. Not many people are going to be lined up to pay a guy who’s blown the same knee out twice and has never really played that great in the NFL. Maclin was beyond excited to play in Chip’s offense this season. If he plays one year in this offense and flourishes then we can either resign him to a real contract or he can go out and get one.

        • BlindChow

          I think teams will be nervous after an ACL injury. Remember Steve Smith (Giants). I think he’d be willing to have a prove-it year contract, especially if it means staying in Philly.

          • aub32

            Steve Smith had micro fracture surgery I believe. There’s a big difference.

  • BigWhoopWannaFightAboutIt

    Just read on PFT that they think Hakeem Nicks is a prime trade candidate. Assuming the Giants would trade him in-division, what would be an appropriate price to pay? Bryce Brown and a 3rd round pick? T Cole and a 3rd round pick? Nicks would absolutely make this offense go wild.

    (Just to be clear, I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell the Giants would ever consider trading him to the Eagles, nor do I think theres any chance of the Eagles posing an offer, but its fun to think about!)

    • aub32

      I wouldn’t want Nicks. When is the last time he was healthy. The guy stays injured. I’d much rather trade for Gordon or wait and see what’s available this offseason.

      • BigWhoopWannaFightAboutIt

        True, but he is by far the better player, as of now, when healthy. I wouldn’t give him anything but an incentive laden contract. The price may be too high, even if its less than Cole and a 3rd, because you are right, he is hurt a lot and the Giants are in a horrible season.

    • pjcostello

      I’d rather snag Kenny Britt from the Titans — same situation, you can get him for a 4th round pick, and he’s a free agent at the end of the season. He played at Rutgers, he’s big and strong and still has some speed left — and Titans’ coaches are done with him. I’d rent him for a couple of months for a fourth-round pick, if only to draw coverage away from DJax.

      • Adam

        I wouldn’t give up more than a 6th for Britt. He’s a lazy and a poor locker room guy. Jason Avant had more yards than Britt last year.

        • pjcostello

          No argument. But it’s not about numbers for me, it’s about position and attention; Avant cannot play on the outside, and Britt can. He’s a tough matchup for opposing corners, and again, I’m not looking for 1000 yards and 10 TDs from him — I’m looking for a cheap rental that would demand attention from opposing secondaries, something which Riley Cooper does not command.

          • BigWhoopWannaFightAboutIt

            Anything more than 500 yards and 3 TDs from a guy like Britt and you’ve struck gold, but if he was in the Eagles offense his ceiling would be higher, I think.

      • BigWhoopWannaFightAboutIt

        I liked Britt when he played at RU, but he has been even less reliable than Nicks. He would be cheaper, which makes him more attractive, and who knows, maybe a change of scenery (Phila is pretty close to RU) would wake this guy up.

  • chuck

    when chuck knoll coached the pittsburgh steelers they were 49 and 1 against teams with records under .500…that’s the point. you have to beat those teams and nick foles did.

    • Maggie

      Those were the days, sigh. Musn’t forget, though. that the Steel Curtain sometimes beat other teams nearly by themselves, with little help from the offense. Even their great offense.