On Sunday, the Rams put a nice little whooping on Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 34-24. Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford may receive the bulk of his team’s praise for the win, but DeSean Jackson had a great game in his own right — and not only that, he set a record in the process.
Jackson racked up 120 yards receiving on only three catches in the game. Stafford hit Jackson on a 75-yard TD reception less than a minute into the second half, and the 34-year-old receiver gave Tampa’s secondary the BBQ chicken treatment on the play.
That TD for Jackson was the ninth of 75 yards or longer in his career, and this ties him for the most in NFL history with Hall of Famer Lance Alworth. The touchdown also marks the 33rd of Jackson’s career of at least 50 yards, bringing him within 3 of the GOAT, Jerry Rice. Jackson is already ahead of legends like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens in this category. Being mentioned among these names says a lot about Jackson’s ability, especially as he’s under six feet tall.
Jackson won’t be part of the GOAT conversation at his position like Moss, Owens, or Rice, but when it comes to deep threats, you can’t deny his claim as one of the most lethal receivers the NFL has ever seen. And that’s not just in his era, or over the last 20 years. Jackson is an all-time great deep-ball wide receiver.
What makes DeSean’s feat even better is that even at age 34, he’s still beating defensive backs’ speed. At 5-foot-10, he’s never been able to beat guys by being more physical. From the day Jackson entered the league, it’s been about flat-out speed for him. All those years Jackson spent in the NFC East, I’ve seen him roast the Cowboys more times than I care to recall. Although Jackson did have one moment against the Cowboys in 2008 that I’m sure he’d love to take back.
But I feel bad for most cornerbacks guarding Jackson, because once they line up, you know it’s pretty much a done deal. He lines up in the slot or outside, and you know he’s likely running a go route, but he beats the defense anyway. And Jackson is a much better route runner than he gets credit for.
The way this Rams offense is looking three games into the season, it’s safe to say Jackson will have a few more opportunities to catch Rice for the all-time lead in 50+ yard TD receptions. Rice still holds so many records that I’m sure he won’t mind handing this one over at some point.