Eagles Notes: Jackson and McCoy enjoy runaway success

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy scores during the third quarter. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy scores during the third quarter. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 11, 2013

LANDOVER, Md. - LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles' top two offensive skill-position players, played to their big contracts in Monday's 33-27 win over the Washington Redskins.

Coach Chip Kelly's offense was intended to highlight the two players after both had down years in 2012, but the way they looked Monday was even beyond an optimist's imagination. The Redskins had no answer for either player. Jackson topped 100 receiving yards by halftime, while McCoy had already topped 100 rushing yards by then.

Jackson finished with seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. McCoy's final line: 184 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown.

Many of McCoy's carries came out of the read-option, which was intended to give the running back an advantage in blockers against defenders. But the true advantage of the offense was allowing McCoy to run in the open field, where his elusiveness could be on full display.

McCoy exceeded 20 carries just twice last season, and never after Week 4. Kelly showed more of a willingness to run.

True to his prediction, Jackson played like a No. 1 receiver. He was not just a deep threat, instead being used in a variety of ways, including on crossing patterns and screens. He scored the Eagles' first touchdown when he ran past DeAngelo Hall and roamed free in the back of the end zone for a 25-yard strike.

Jackson had seven receptions just once last season. If Monday was a hint, seven-reception games could be a fair benchmark this season.

Jackson also was used as a punt returner, which was a role the Eagles kept him away from last season. The Redskins intentionally punted the ball away from him, giving the Eagles better field position.

Peters briefly hurt

Left tackle Jason Peters briefly came off the field in the first half with an apparent hand injury but returned to the game on the next series. Allen Barbre, a backup lineman, came in to replace Peters.

Peters is perhaps the Eagles' most valuable player, so any injury is a concern. He played in his first game in more than a year after missing last season with a twice-ruptured right Achilles tendon.

Fortunately for the Eagles, Monday's injury was not serious.

Curry inactive

Defensive end Vinny Curry was one of the Eagles' six inactive players.

Curry, a 2012 second-round pick, joined quarterback Matt Barkley, cornerback Shaun Prater, offensive lineman Matt Tobin, offensive lineman Dennis Kelly, and tight end Emil Igwenagu as players who did not dress.

The Eagles needed to deactivate only six players because they released Brandon Hughes on Saturday and have only 52 players on their active roster.

Curry was a notable absence because of his pass-rushing ability. He is not among the Eagles' top six linemen, however, and not one of their top special-team options.

Kelly has a back injury and was already declared out. Tobin's absence meant the Eagles played with two backup linemen: Barbre and Julian Vandervelde.

Deactivating Prater, who was signed last week, left the Eagles with four cornerbacks. There were three tight ends active with Igwenagu on the sideline.

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