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DeSean Jackson Helps Eliminate Former Team


Just like they did last season, the Redskins, with the help of former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, eliminated Philadelphia from playoff contention in Week 16.

When the Philadelphia Eagles decided to release DeSean Jackson before last season, they did so believing that it was a smart football decision.

Check out these top offensive shots from the Washington Redskins' 2015 Week 16 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles Dec. 26, 2015, at Lincoln Financial Field.

On Saturday evening, for the second time in as many seasons, Jackson, who once again has a gaudy pre-catch average and is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down, helped lead the Washington Redskins to a victory over their NFC East counterparts.

Unlike last season's victory, which simply meant the Eagles would be home once the playoffs started, Saturday night's win, a 38-24 final at Lincoln Financial Field, means the Redskins are NFC East champions for the second time in four years.

"We're in the playoffs and we're winning," Jackson said after the game. "Second year in a row for them not to be [in the playoffs], so hopefully we can do something good, you know, carry off with this hot streak we're in right now take it to the playoffs."

While Jackson's numbers didn't necessarily stand out on Saturday – he had four catches for 40 yards – his presence allowed for other Redskins to have big nights.

With the Eagles constantly keeping an eye on him, often moving one of the safeties either over towards his side or further back than they'd usually line up, tight end Jordan Reed, for example, was able to take advantage of soft coverage with nine catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

Pierre Garçon, meanwhile, hauled in seven passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.

And someone like Pierre Thomas, playing in only his third game with the Redskins, was able to catch seven passes for 67 yards out of the backfield.

In total, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns to zero interceptions.

It was the third time this season that Cousins, in his first season as a full-time starter, had four touchdowns and no interceptions in a game, and the second time in as many weeks.

"Last year he came in under the fire. This year, he was able to prepare and he was able to get reps with the first team," Jackson said. "He's doing what you've asked of him and what starting quarterbacks in this league do. He's getting the ball where he needs to get it to and at the same time we're able to get big shots down the field with me, Pierre and Jordan Reed. We're just really taking advantage of what the defense is giving us. If they take the deep coverage, that's when you have Jordan Reed making awesome catches underneath him. He has some big runs after the catch too because he's faster than a lot of the guys that are out there guarding him. So I think his addition and his playing are blossoming and he's been doing a great job this year."

With a victory sealed early Sunday morning, jubilation exuded from the Redskins locker room.

Players exchanged heartfelt hugs, high-fives and congratulations among themselves.

After head coach Jay Gruden's locker room speech, applauding the team but still reminding them a lot more work is ahead of them, players started dancing and cheering.

The moment was months in the making, an extension of the team becoming even tighter following their comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October headlined by Cousins' "You like that" outburst.

"I mean sometimes it takes things like that to grow," Jackson said. "Sometimes you need a spark, sometimes you need a word or whatever and start slogans."

Jackson added that Redskins, currently on a three-game winning streak, have a special vibe to them after so few predicted they'd be NFC East Champions this season.

"I think we're undervalued," Jackson said. "I think everybody is really not giving us the credit we deserve, they're not believing in us. In the locker room, I think we have a lot of guys, we have a lot of veteran guys, that have come from other teams and have had success. A lot guys have been in the playoffs and are used to winning. The mentality is changing here. I think older guys like Dashon Goldson, Jason Hatcher, guys like that on the mentality on the defensive side, they're building something that's kind of scary. Other teams are definitely going to feel their presence. On the offensive side I can say the same thing. We're building something that is dangerous in the offense. We have a lot of weapons and we do a lot of good things."




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