Anatomy of a Play  

 

Jackson's return TD epitomizes big-play Eagles of 2010

  • By Todd J. Schmidt NFL Films
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PHILADELPHIA -- In 2010, the Philadelphia Eagles have become one of the NFL's most explosive teams. They rank second in the NFL with 29.4 points per game, while their 403.9 yards per game leads the league.

The team has its share of game-breakers in quarterback Michael Vick, tailback LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson. It is the Eagles' ability to put them in situations that allow them to take advantage of their athletic ability that has set them apart this season.

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The emergence of McCoy, in particular, has been key to the fortunes of both Vick and Jackson. The second-year back out of the University of Pittsburgh leads Philadelphia in both rushing yards (1,036) and receptions (74), averages 5.3 yards per carry and has five runs of 40 yards or longer. Because defenses have to account for him on every snap, Philadelphia has had great success out of play action.

With defenses keying on McCoy, Vick and Jackson have enjoyed their finest seasons. Vick has finally developed into the multi-dimensional playmaker his potential promised since he entered the league in 2001. He has rushed for 613 yards, completed over 63 percent of his passes for 20 touchdowns, and has thrown just five interceptions. His arm strength, always among the league's best, has been complemented by his mastery of the offense.

As for Jackson, he has become the game's most exciting player. His 22.8 yard per catch average is tops in the NFL. Jackson's speed puts incredible pressure on defenses -- they can't let him get behind them on deep passes but, given too much room on shorter patterns, he has the ankle-snapping moves to create a big play in the open field. The running ability of both McCoy and Vick creates even more space for Jackson to operate within.

Against the Giants in Week 15, Jackson's field vision and explosiveness were on full display in the game-winning 65-yard punt return at the end of regulation. Jackson made three men miss and outran the rest in a moment that has epitomized the big-play Eagles of 2010.

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