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DeSean poised to break Mike Quick's mark
Lunch Break: Give Shady the ball
December 19, 2013, 10:00 am
DeSean Jackson is just 135 yards away from Mike Quick's Eagles record for most yards in a season. (USA Today Images)
He’s close. Close enough to know it, to get asked about it, to talk about it, too.
DeSean Jackson had a big game (and a mini-meltdown) in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings: 10 catches, 195 yards and a touchdown. It was a single-game career high in receptions, and it was the second most yards he’d ever posted in one outing. (He recorded a 210-yard effort against the Cowboys in 2010.)
Two games remain for the Eagles. One milestone remains for Jackson. The Vikings boosted Jackson to 1,275 yards for the season. He needs 135 more yards in the final two weeks to break Mike Quick’s team record for most yards in a year. Quick had 1,409 yards in 1983.
“If I reach it, it’s a blessing, a great achievement,” Jackson said. “Still, regardless of my stats on Sunday, we lost the game. It probably would have meant a lot more and been a lot better if we could have won. The biggest thing is getting a 'W' in the win column after the game and making it to the playoffs. We haven’t been to the playoffs the past three years. I think that’s more important to myself and to my teammates and to this organization – giving ourselves a chance to get back and to compete for playoff wins and Super Bowls. That’s something I’ve been accustomed to since I’ve been here ... whatever it comes to as far as stats-wise, it’s a blessing, but still focusing on [winning].”
Whether or not Jackson surpasses the three-decade-old record, he’s still having the best season of his career. Jackson is fifth in the NFL in receiving yards. He’s tied for sixth in yards per catch (17.0), 10th in touchdown catches (nine) and 13th in receptions with 75. Those 75 catches are also a career high.
Jackson remains a big-play threat. He’s second in the NFL with 24 receptions that have gone for 20 or more yards. But he’s also become a short and intermediate threat. He has 17 catches that were thrown behind the line of scrimmage, 19 that were thrown between 1-10 yards and 19 more that were thrown between 11-20 yards.
Against the Vikings, Jackson lined up in the backfield several times, catching three passes from those formations that gained a total of 42 yards. The wide receiver said he felt “comfortable” in those scenarios because the defense is usually forced to cover him with safeties and linebackers. That, he said, gives him “so much room to work with.”
“I was with DeSean previously when I was here before,” offensive coordinator Pat Shumur said. “We all know what he is as a player. The last shallow cross he caught where he ran down the field, we know what he is as a player.
“He's embraced the change, which is not always easy to do for a veteran player. He’s embraced it. He's bought into everything that's going on. I think you’ve seen he's reaping the rewards, at least statistically. I think when he has production, it's good for all of us.”