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DeSean Jackson's explosive plays fed the Eagles' offense last year

DeSean Jackson's explosive plays fed the Eagles' offense last year

The Eagles need to face facts; they are going to miss DeSean Jackson. Some interesting numbers crunched by my friend Jimmy Kempski on Philly.com detail why.

The 2013 Eagles were the most explosive offense in the NFL. Although the Broncos scored more touchdowns on offense (71) than the Eagles did (51), Philly scored its TD’s much more quickly than anyone else. Their average TD drive took just 2:08. The Vikings were second in the league, taking 2:32 on their touchdown drives. By comparison, the Redskins were 30th in the NFL burning an average of 3:45 to score their 33 offensive touchdowns.

Their ability to score quickly stemmed in part from Chip Kelly’s fast-paced no huddle offense but the real key to their success was their ability to eat up big chunks of yardage with explosive plays of 20 yards or more. The Eagles’ 99 plays that covered 20+ yards were the most in the NFL since the league began tracking such plays since 1991.

Jackson was responsible for 25 of those explosive plays, the most of the team. And Kempski digs in further to show that Jackson’s big plays didn’t just puff up the receiver’s stats. On every Eagles drive that contained a Jackson explosive play resulted in at least a field goal attempt. His 26 explosive plays (counting one in the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Saints) came during drives that ended with 17 touchdowns, seven field goals and two missed field goals.

“Ever since he was cut, coping without DeSean Jackson has been framed in terms of replacing his 82 catches, 1332 yards, and 9 TDs,” said Kempski. “That may be replaced by another player or a combination of players in time, but there isn't a receiving weapon on the roster, as currently constructed, who can come close to matching Jackson's explosiveness.”

The Redskins had just 55 explosive plays last year and, of course, the hope is that Jackson will add to that total. There seems to be little question that the Jackson transaction helped the Redskins and hurt the Eagles. What we won’t know until September is how much the Jackson moving closes the gap between Washington and its division rival in Philadelphia.

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a roster move just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.