After a six-catch, 102-yard receiving start to the season, DeSean Jackson has only four catches for 51 yards over the last two games. There's probably some correlation between the wide receiver's lack of touches and the Eagles losing their last two.
Jackson was asked Thursday after practice if he could put a finger on why he hasn't seen the ball much recently.
"It's football," Jackson said. "I'm one of ten other players. It's not going to always go my way. My number is not always going to be called."
Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he has run plays designed specifically to get Jackson the ball, but for some reason or other it hasn't happened as much as the Eagles would want. Part of the blame/credit, Mornhinweg said, has to be attributed to defenses focusing on the big-play receiver and playing soft.
“There are times I try and get him the ball, absolutely," Mornhinweg said. "He got the old double behind the line of scrimmage one time last week. Yeah, there are times where we certainly try and get him the ball. Other times, we want the quarterback to go through the progression and reads."
Jackson has gone through similar lulls before only to break out big time. Could the 49ers this Sunday become the victims of a breakout performance from the receiver?
"I look at every game I want to go out there and have a big game," Jackson said. "This week in practice has been going good so we'll see how it goes on Sunday."
Like Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel was once a high-priced free agent cornerback acquisition of the Eagles that got off to a slow start with his new team.
Asomugha's first three games as an Eagle have not, by any stretch of the imagination, been a disaster. But he has struggled on occasion, as he did Sunday when he missed a tackle opportunity on the Giants' Victor Cruz and was out-jumped by the receiver for a 28-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
"He's doing well," Samuel said. "Everybody have a little oops here and there. But everything wouldn't be as bad if we had won."
Asomugha could find redemption this Sunday. He is sure to matched up against tight end Vernon Davis, the 49ers' top receiver.
"He's definitely a tight end that has receiver speed so it's a mismatch for most linebackers," Samuel said. "We're definitely going to be watching out for him. We know he's a big part of their offense."
Samuel, who has been targeted by opposing quarterback far more than he was last season, was the Eagles' second-leading tackler last week with four. Could the light-tackling Samuel possibly be among the defense's leading tacklers again this Sunday?
"Let's just say, 'I hope not,'" Samuel said. "They don't pay enough to tackle as everybody know. I'm not the tackling man. When I have too many tackles it's a problem."
Cornerback Joselio Hanson said that he should play a little more in the nickel than he has since the start of the season. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has primarily been the nickel, but he hasn't shined playing in a role he isn't accustomed to.
"I should be out there a little more in this game," Hanson said.
Hanson is also the sixth defensive back in the Eagles dime defensive scheme.
Hanson, widely expected to be traded before the season, was released on final cut-down day and was on the street for three days. The Eagles brought him back three days later after he agreed to a lesser contract.
But he lost his long-time nickel spot to Rodgers-Cromartie, whom the Eagles needed to find a role for.
"It's different not having as much of an impact on the outcome," Hanson said. "But they say you only need one play to impact the game."
Vince Young agreed with Andy Reid's assessment that he is now 100 percent after enduring a hamstring strain that sidelined him through most of the first month of the season.
"Yes, sir," he said.
So was it hard sitting out and watching the third-string quarterback being called upon in back-to-back games while you were injured?
"It wasn't hard at all," Young said. "You got to take care of your body. Treatment."
Reid hasn't said if Young or Mike Kafka will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Michael Vick for this Sunday's game.