DeSean, McCoy show scary potential in opener

DeSean, McCoy show scary potential in opener

September 10, 2013, 7:00 am
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DeSean Jackson finished with 104 receiving yards and a touchdown while LeSean McCoy rushed for 184 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles' win on Monday. (USA Today Images)

LANDOVER, Md. -- Good luck stopping LeSean McCoy. Good luck stopping DeSean Jackson.
 
Now, good luck stopping both of them at the same time.
 
McCoy and Jackson have both been to the Pro Bowl, have both set their share of records since they joined the Eagles, but they haven’t both been at the top of their game at the same time, and both came into this year coming off disappointing, injury-marred seasons.
 
When Jackson had his Pro Bowl seasons in 2009 and 2010, McCoy wasn’t quite the threat he is now. And when McCoy had his All-Pro season in 2011, Jackson wasn’t at his best.
 
One day into the 2013 season, McCoy and Jackson both look unstoppable. And for one day at least, so did the Eagles (see story).
 
McCoy ran for 184 yards, Jackson caught seven passes for 107 yards, and the Chip Kelly Era got off to an electrifying start Monday night with 31 points, 443 yards and 77 plays in a 33-27 win over the defending NFC East-champion Redskins at FedEx Field (see Instant Replay).
 
McCoy’s 184 yards are one shy of his career high set against the Cowboys in 2011 and ninth-most in franchise history are the fourth-most on opening day by any NFL back since his current coach, Duce Staley, had 201 in Dallas in the 2000 opener in the Pickle Juice game.

“I was expecting that,” left tackle Jason Peters said. “He’s got the cutback. He’s got the front side. I say he’s going to get, I’d say by Week 10 he’ll be at 1,000 yards.”
 
McCoy smiled when told of Peters’ prediction.
 
“He’s putting pressure on me,” said McCoy, who missed four late-season games last year with a concussion and didn’t play much the last two games. “He said it, I’ve got to do it. I think we’ll definitely be successful in the running game. But as long as we win. I don’t want to get sidetracked thinking about all the yards.
 
“Great game, we won the game, there’s things we need to work on, next we’ve got to worry about the Chargers and that’s it. That’s all we’ve got to worry about.”
 
McCoy is only 25, but he’s already got 4,050 rushing yards, sixth-most in franchise history. The 100-yard game was his 13th, and only Wilbert Montgomery (27), Brian Westbrook (21) and Steve Van Buren (19) have ever had more in an Eagles’ uniform.
 
"Shady is a special back,” center Jason Kelce said. “Obviously, he makes a lot of things happen. We feel like as long as we put a hat on a hat he’s gonna make a big play happen for us. There aren’t that many like him."
 
Jackson, like McCoy, had a frustrating 2012 season. Everybody on the team did. His production was down, big plays were absent, and he missed the last five games with broken ribs.
 
But what a start to 2013. Without a reception longer than 26 yards, Jackson made an impact catching lots of shorter routes, including a 25-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 10-7 lead in the first quarter.
 
Jackson, now 26, is already tied for fourth in franchise history with 17 100-yard receiving games, behind only Pete Retzlaff (23), Harold Carmichael and Mike Quick (21) and Tommy McDonald (17). Fred Barnett also had 17.
 
In this offense, he might catch Retzlaff pretty quickly.
 
“I felt like a kid in a sandbox,” Jackson said. “Going out there and being able to see that tempo in a real game. You know, preseason, you were able to see it a little bit. But preseason isn’t really the real deal. We come out here first game of the year … there wasn’t one time when we felt like we were going to be stopped.”
 
Jackson only had two 100-yard games last year and two the year before.
 
But like McCoy, he looked like a different guy Monday night. Rejuvenated. Revived.
 
Unstoppable.
 
“I was able to get the ball in my hands,” Jackson said. “A lot of times in the past couple of years, teams would be frightened and afraid that I would beat them down the field. But as you see, a lot of my catches were underneath, shorter routes. I caught a ball across [the middle of] the field and tried to break one.
 
“Just doing whatever I need to do to help my team win games and try to create big plays and kind of spark them up with energy is something I look forward to.
 
“It’s still the first game. We have a lot of work to do. But we’re glad to come out here Monday night and show the world what we’re about.”