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Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce. Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. Larry Csonka and Paul Warfield. Franco Harris and Lynn Swann. Tony Dorsett and Drew Pearson.
That’s how good LeSean and DeSean can be.
In this offense? In this system? If Michael Vick stays healthy? They can be one of the greatest receiving-running combos in NFL history.
Premature? Maybe. But now in their fifth year together, they’re already piling up some remarkable numbers.
No tandem in NFL history has done what these two electrifying playmakers have done so far this young season.
Two games in, LeSean McCoy has 356 yards from scrimmage, the 16th-highest total in NFL history after two games, and Jackson has 297 receiving yards, the 12th-most in NFL history after two games.
In the last 20 years, only two running backs have more yards from scrimmage than McCoy after two weeks -- Arian Foster (376 in 2010) and C.J. Spiller (365 last year).
In the last 20 years, only three receivers have more yards than Jackson after two weeks -- Jimmy Smith (343 in 2000), Chad Johnson (304 in 2007) and Steve Smith (334 in 2011).
This is the first time in NFL history a team has a running back with 350 total yards and a receiver with 275 yards after two games.
McCoy is the NFL’s leading rusher, and Jackson is the NFL’s leading receiver. McCoy’s 237 yards lead Doug Martin by 28, with Adrian Peterson third at 193. Jackson’s 297 yards is 39 more than Julio Jones and 61 more than Randall Cobb.
In the Redskins win, McCoy had 184 rushing yards and Jackson had 104 receiving. Sunday, in the home-opening loss to the Chargers (see story), McCoy had 114 yards receiving and 53 rushing and Jackson was 9-for-193.
That’s 653 combined yards in two games for DeSean and LeSean. More than nine NFL teams.
Jackson promised he’d be rejuvenated in Chip Kelly’s offense, and he sure is.
This is the first time he’s had touchdowns in consecutive games since November 2010 -- nearly three years ago. His 61-yard touchdown was the sixth of 60 yards or more from Michael Vick, and only three QB-WR combos have more 60-yard TD plays the last 20 years.
Jackson has already matched his touchdown total from last year as well as his total of two 100-yard games in both 2011 and 2012.
He surpassed 5,000 career yards on Sunday and with 5,082 and possibly nine more games before he turns 27 on Dec. 1, Jackson already has the eighth-most receiving yards in NFL history by a player before his 27th birthday.
If he gets single coverage like he did Sunday, he might get to 6,000 by the bye week.
“I felt throughout the game that we were going to have some good matchups,” Jackson said. “Shareece Wright was actually following me throughout the whole game. He played at [USC], and I played against him before, and I just felt I was going to be able to take advantage of that matchup.
“Any time we had a matchup where guys were going to try to get in my face and press me the whole game, I like my options on that.”
McCoy is determined to outdo his 2011 All-Pro season, and he’s actually on pace to do that. He had 253 yards from scrimmage two weeks into his 2011 season, so after two games he’s 100 yards ahead of that pace.
McCoy now has 5,810 yards from scrimmage with as many as 14 more games before his birthday. He’s already 25th in NFL history in yards from scrimmage by a player before his 26th birthday and if he stays healthy will be in the top 10 by the end of the year.
As productive as McCoy and Jackson have been, both spoke Sunday of missed opportunities. Jackson and Vick failed to connect on a few deep balls (see story), and McCoy lamented his inability to score on what turned into a 70-yard catch-and-run.
It was McCoy’s longest career reception, but he was tackled at the 7, and the Eagles had to settle for a field goal in a game they eventually lost by three.
“We need to find a way to get in there,” McCoy said. “We need to find a way to score. Three is OK, but sometimes you need a touchdown in different situations in the game.
“With the type of offense we have I don’t think moving the ball in an issue. I think it’s the necessary points that we need to get so it doesn’t come down to a situation where we need special teams to cover the ball or we need the defense to get a stop.”