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While the matchup between the Redskins and Eagles this Saturday night will be sure to get a little emotional for wide receiver DeSean Jackson, it's his recent play that's been the subject Redskins fans are most excited about.
Anticipating the big, divisional matchup, Bucky Brooks and NFL Next Gen Stats put together a video with some greater insight as to why Jackson has made big plays in the last several weeks, and what the Eagles must do to stop him.
First, let's start with this. Jackson is really fast. Of his 26 receptions this year, three have seen him reach speeds of more than 20 miles per hour.
One of them occurred last Sunday, during his 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins. Brooks explains the facets of the play, which include the eight yards of separation he has with Bills opposing safety Corey Graham.
Once the ball is in the air, a throw Cousins confirmed to reporters on Wednesday as an intentional back shoulder throw, Jackson decelerates to six miles per hour in just 2.30 seconds. After the catch, he cranks it back up and rolls his way into the end zone.
"I think he's talented tracking the football," Cousins said of Jackson. "I think when the ball is in the air he does a really good job of tracking it and running underneath it. He's obviously fast. He has a good skill in finding the football and locating it and making the tough catch."
After being unable to gain valuable time together in training camp – Jackson was injured for most of it and Cousins practiced with the second stringers – it has taken a while for Cousins to find a rapport with him. Four touchdowns in the last five games has proven their connection is growing.
"It is Kirk's first time playing with him, every snap, it does take some getting used to," left tackle Trent Williams. "From the outside looking in, when you watch them play, it looks like they're starting to click. I think the sky's the limit for that duo. Kirk's a great player. DeSean's a great player. Two great players --I'm not going to say always play great together, but the majority of the time they're going to have some great plays."
On the opposite side of the ball, Brooks highlights Jaylen Watkins as a threat to disrupt some of those completions as well as defensive lineman Fletcher Cox. Specifically, Cox presents a big challenge when he lines up directly over the center, as he's acquired four of his seven sacks there.
"You have to prepare for them a little more," Williams said of their defensive line. "Even Brandon Graham can apply pressure off the edge. You've just got to give them their due diligence and study them and just try to neutralize them as much as possible."
For all the visual learners, take a look at the video.