DeSean beats Giants with big plays

Salsa celebration: DeSean Jackson mimics the Giants' Victor Cruz after his fourth-quarter TD. Jackson caught seven passes for 132 yards. RON CORTES / Staff Photographer
Salsa celebration: DeSean Jackson mimics the Giants' Victor Cruz after his fourth-quarter TD. Jackson caught seven passes for 132 yards. RON CORTES / Staff Photographer (      RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 08, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - DeSean Jackson turned to face the fans in the back of the Giants' end zone. He swiveled his hips through a few steps of the Victor Cruz salsa, and then cut it short with a dismissive kick.

Jackson's fourth-quarter touchdown sealed the Eagles' 36-21 victory over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. And with the final gesture of his celebration, he kicked dirt on two weeks' worth of frustration.

After a miserable pair of games in which he became an afterthought in the offense, Jackson was at his flamboyant best Sunday. Taking advantage of one-on-one coverage from the Giants that dared the Eagles to go his way, Jackson caught seven passes for 132 yards.

"We just wanted to stress that we're not going to let teams play us like that," Jackson said. "It's always a great thing when you can make teams pay for the way they're playing you."

That's exactly what they did on his 5-yard touchdown catch from Nick Foles. Jackson said the Eagles took advantage of a Giants' tendency they discovered on film and ran a stutter-step-and-go pattern into the right corner of the end zone.

"We knew . . . in the red zone that they play press coverage and played up on the receivers, so that double move is in our arsenal," Jackson said. "Nick made a great throw to allow me to make my move and still make a play on the ball."

Jackson and Foles, who entered the game on the final drive of the second quarter, developed a good rhythm from the start. Foles' 21-yard pass to Jackson set up an Eagles field goal just before the half.

Foles found Jackson seven times for 70 yards, the most they've connected in a game.

"Foles does a great job of making decisions, getting the ball out early, and letting the receiver go out there and make a play on the ball," Jackson said.

Jackson's 16 catches for 297 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games of the season drew him extra attention from defenses. In the following two losses, he had just five receptions for 96 yards and no touchdowns, and the Eagles mustered just 32 points.

The Giants gave Jackson more space to operate, electing to go mostly man coverage with one deep safety.

"He's a threat no matter where he is," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. "If you're going to play man coverage, it's just going to happen a little bit quicker. He did a really good job giving himself an opportunity to make plays."

As for the salsa celebration? Jackson said he did it as a tribute to a friend who doesn't care for the signature touchdown dance of the Giants wide receiver.

"One of my friends told me they wanted me to do that," Jackson said.

Like the move that got into him into the end zone, that too was choreographed ahead of time.


tmcmanus@philly.com

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