DeSean Jackson looking for more 'MNF' success

  • By Grant Gordon
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"FitzMagic" is running wild.

The bearded brilliance of backup-turned-starting sensation Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been a captivating, feel-good storyline and a catalyst of a surprising 2-0 start.

However, much of Fitzpatrick's success -- and apparently the majority of his tremendous postgame attire -- has come thanks to the dynamic DeSean Jackson.

The veteran receiver has turned in highlights aplenty as the undefeated Bucs head into a Monday Night Football matchup with the surprisingly winless Pittsburgh Steelers.

Just as Jackson has made a career out of big plays, he's made a habit out of shining in the Monday night spotlight.

In 14 games under the Monday night lights, he's hauled in 54 catches for 1,180 yards and six touchdowns.

That's roughly 12 percent of Jackson's 9,762 career receiving yards.

Per's Scott Smith, of the 34 players who have tallied greater than 1,000 receiving yards on Monday nights alone, Jackson's 84.3 yards per contest are third best, trailing just the great Andre Reed (89.3 per game) and the greatest Jerry Rice (94.9).

Despite the stellar stats, Jackson's all about putting in the work no matter what day of the football week.

"I think -- once again -- as professional athletes we get paid to do our job and play at a high level, so first of all you have to take that into consideration," he said, via Smith. "That's coming to work and putting it on film, the studying in the classroom, just repeatedly doing it over and over and over. As long as you're able to do that, you'll get your results on Sunday or Monday or Thursday or whenever you're able to play. I think that's what guys are doing -- taking advantage of their opportunities and just putting their best foot forward."

Two blockbuster games into his 11th season, the longtime Eagle and former Redskin is averaging a ridiculous 30.6 yards per catch with nine receptions for 275 yards and three touchdowns.

Jackson, who has has 557 receptions and 52 touchdowns on his career, had likely his worst Monday night performance in his only previous Monday Night Football outing with the Bucs.

Last season, Tampa Bay played on just one Monday and lost to the Falcons, 24-21, with Jackson limited to one catch for 11 yards.

In 2016, Jackson had two 100-yard games on Monday night, but both were losses with the Redskins.

Huge performances so far this year have led to nothing but success for Jackson and the Buccaneers and the eyes are most certainly on the prize of a 3-0 start. That it would come in primetime doesn't seem to matter all that much.

"Let's just have some fun," Jackson said. "Monday night obviously there's always a huge fan spotlight on us. I think everyone's taking it serious. We're not worrying about the previous two games and we're not going to worry about the game after this. We're just focused on this game."