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