At the age of 24, DeSean Jackson has put himself into elite company among Eagles all-time wide receivers.
He's one of four to put together back-to-back seasons of 1,000 yards or more, joining Mike Quick, Irving Fryar and Tommy McDonald.
And Jackson's 22.5 yards per reception in 2010 was a franchise-best among receivers who had at least 30 catches in a season.
As he continues to lobby for a new deal (Jackson is scheduled to make $565,000 in 2011), I wanted to take a look at how his 2010 performance compared to his 2009 performance. And since there are several aspects of Jackson's play to dissect, I'll break this up into two parts.
Let's start with the raw numbers:
Overall, receptions, yards and touchdowns were all down. However, in 2010, Jackson was up in a pair of categories: yards per catch and average yards after the catch. In fact, he led the NFL in both categories.
Here's how those first three categories average out on a per/game basis. In 2009, Jackson played in 15 games. In 2010, 14 games.
As you can see, the dropoff isn't as significant. Jackson averaged 0.9 fewer targets, 0.7 fewer receptions and 1.7 fewer yards per game in 2010.
His catch rate (percentage of passes thrown to Jackson that were completed) was down at 49 percent. That number was 53 percent last season and 52 percent the year before.
Among the 85 wide receivers who had least 50 targets last season, Jackson ranked tied for 74th in catch rate, according to Football Outsiders. Perhaps no stat better illustrates the season he had. When Jackson caught the ball, he was probably the most dangerous wide receiver in the league. But the Eagles failed more times than they succeeded when throwing the ball in Jackson's direction.
In 2009, Jackson was the Eagles' most-targeted receiver. Not the case in 2010. That title actually belonged to Jeremy Maclin. Maclin had 116 targets overall (20 more than Jackson), and even averaged more targets (7.25 per game).
Football Outsiders' other numbers do not reflect favorably on Jackson either. He was down quite a bit in a couple of their metrics. The first is DVOA, which represents value over an average wide receiver in the same game situations. Jackson ranked 45th in 2010 after finishing 23rd in 2009. And the second is DYAR, which represents defense-adjusted yards above replacement (full explanation of metric here). In 2010, Jackson ranked 45th. He was 20th in 2009.
In the second part of this post, I'll look a detailed look at how the Eagles had a tough time winning games in 2010 when Jackson wasn't hitting on big plays.
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