DeSean Jackson gives spark, confidence to Raiders, Derek Carr – NFL Nation

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HENDERSON, Nev. – DeSean Jackson averages 35.0 yards per game. catch with the Las Vegas Raiders. Or one yard a year he has been alive.

Yes, Jackson turned 35 on Wednesday, six days after his three-catches-for-102-yards-and-a-56-yard-TD Force De Force on national television at the Dallas Cowboys.

“S —, I did not even know he was 35,” Raiders runner Josh Jacobs said of Jackson after witnessing the small spread that showed he still had the infamous outburst. “I do not know, he was 30 …”

Jacobs paused and then smiled.

“Practice,” he continued. “Yeah, and he looks so effortless, too. I say, ‘brother, you’re just slipping.’ It’s crazy.”

And you thought Jackson amazed the football world when he came out of high school in Long Beach, California, by choosing Cal over USC.

Jackson, who made his NFL debut in 2008 – when Jacobs was 10 years old – did more than impress the youngsters at Thanksgiving. He gave a burst of excitement to awaken what had been a dying Raiders offense after goodbye. In other words, he did exactly what was expected of him – taking the top of the defense to open things down for other pass-catchers while keeping the safety honest. Jackson also drew a couple of deep pass interference penalties, 30 and 17 yards, respectively.

The key to a Raiders team that ended a three-game losing streak improving to 6-5 is keeping momentum going as Las Vegas hosts the Washington Football Team on Sunday at the Allegiant Stadium (16:05 ET ). , Fox).

“Just because we called a game for him where he’s the No. 1 opportunity, does not mean I just want to fall back and throw it up to him,” said Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. “It has to be the right look, it has to be the right coverage. I think what we saw in the Dallas game was that he was more on the field; he had more options.”

Yes. After being on the field for just nine snaps in his Raiders debut against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 14 – a performance that included a spectacular 38-yard catch but an equally unspectacular lost fumble on the game – Jackson played 16 snaps against the Cincinnati Bengals a week later, but was not targeted once.

He was on the field in 42 snaps against the Cowboys.

“It’s that he can just handle more and be more in the system and be able to play more,” Carr said. “I think it obviously gives us that he can do it stretch that we need so that everyone else becomes active as well. “

When Jackson first joined the Raiders on November 8 – signed in the wake of Henry Ruggs III being cut after his burning car accident that cost a 23-year-old woman and her dog his life – he said he was ready for any role Las Vegas asked him to play at this stage of his career.

Deep threat. decoy. You name it.

“Tea [personal] braces, the statistics are there, “Jackson said.” I really want to win and chase a Super Bowl. So I think it fits nicely here. I know it’s a lot of adversity going on here with the organization, but sometimes it’s what builds character. When people are always against you and go against you and think that everything is bad, it clearly shows what a group can do when they face adversity.

“So I think right now is the best time for everyone to stick together, get closer together and really just get the best out of the situation. You can not really change what has happened, but the best thing about life is that you always can improve yourself. and go forward, day in and day out. “

The role of veteran spark plugs has thus been filled. Yes, by Jackson. Hi, for the sake of comparison, “Old Man” Willie Brown was only 36 when he authored his epic pick-six for the Raiders in Super Bowl XI.

For not only did Jackson get the best out of his keys, he opened up to others. As prescribed and announced.

Receiver Hunter Renfrow had career highs in catches (eight) and receiving yards (134). Receiver Zay Jones’ five catches on 59 yards were highlights for him in a Raiders uniform. In fact, the 307 yards of Raiders receivers in the OT victory in Dallas were the fifth most combined of the Raiders wideouts in a game in franchise history.

Next, another well-known enemy for Jackson in Washington, a team he has burned for 47 catches, 839 yards and seven TDs in 14 career games.

Thanks to Jackson for opening up the Raiders vertical game and gaining the trust of Carr, who said he and Jackson ran the same game three times in drills leading up to the Dallas game. The situation, Carr insisted, had to play out just right, and both the quarterback and receiver had to recognize it.

They did.

“All year I’ve been tilting up,” Carr said, dropping his throwing shoulder as he lifted his left shoulder to simulate throwing a deep ball.

“Es [former coach Jon] Gruden would tell me, ‘Upward tilt. I want to see the car at an angle. ‘ I’ve tried to do that. And once it’s there, I’ve tried to get them started. Probably more times than I should have, a few times. But when you connect on one, it just gives confidence to the whole team. “

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