DeSean Jackson's numbers and his on field performance haven't exactly jibed this year. He appears to be on a pace to have a fairly average year by his standards, but the feeling that he's a threat just hasn't been there this year. As Jeff McLane pointed out this week, that "something" that seems to be missing from Jackson is the big play.
He is on pace to finish with just eight catches for 340 yards and no touchdowns from passes thrown more than 20 yards, according to ProFootballFocus. In his first three seasons, Jackson averaged 12 receptions for 474 yards and three touchdowns on "deep" passes.
Jackson blames it on the way defenses are playing him to take away the long ball.
"For myself, at times, it's frustrating because I am used to the big plays, scoring long touchdowns," Jackson said. "But right now it's not really working. Defenses are not letting it happen."
Marty Mornhinweg was asked about whether it was the way defenses were playing Jackson that was taking the long ball away?
"We've gotten our big share of big plays [and] we're always very good at that. Last week, we certainly tried several times, had a couple shots, but [QB] Mike [Vick] made a good choice and brought it down."
I've got another theory. It's DeSean Jackson's fault. Do we remember the two TDs he dropped literally in the end zone over the first two weeks of the season? How about the long ball he dropped that probably would have been a TD in week one? How about last week when in the 3rd quarter Michael Vick led him perfectly with a pass over the middle where he had nothing but grass in front of him that was also dropped?
Stats INC. credits Jackson with 6 drops so far this season, which is the 3rd highest drop total in the NFL. That's a huge problem and a big reason we've seen less big plays from Jackson this year. We know how dangerous he can be with the ball in his hands... but if that ball isn't staying in his hands, then obviously the danger is gone.
So let's not pretend that this is a player doing everything he can to produce that's just being stymied by defenses scheming against him. He's not making the most of the opportunities that he's getting. And in contract year, that's not good news.