football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart

DeSean Jackson’s Impact On Raiders’ Offense Being Felt

  • The Draft Network
  • December 3, 2021
  • Share

The Las Vegas Raiders had been slipping down the standings, in need of a catalyst to turn their season around before it was too late. Enter DeSean Jackson.

After a very hot start to the season, the Raiders suddenly hit a wall of off-the-field issues and tragedy. First there was the resignation of head coach Jon Gruden, then the release of both 2020 first-rounders—wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and cornerback Damon Arnette—in a matter of weeks.

Their 5-2 start slipped to 5-3, then 5-4, then 5-5. While the Raiders had struggled with preventing opponents’ scores all season, their offense had noticeably taken a step back. Through the first eight weeks of the season, Las Vegas’ scoring offense was top 10 in the NFL, averaging 25.7 points per game. They were second in the league in passing yards per game (307.9), as a surging Derek Carr was building chemistry with Ruggs III, their deep threat who seemed to be on the verge of a huge breakout season.

Then the team released Ruggs III after he was charged with a DUI after a horrific, deadly drunk driving incident in Las Vegas. The circumstances around the tragedy hit the team with strong emotional aftereffects, and Ruggs III’s departure left the Raiders without their deep-threat, No. 1 receiver.

After dropping three straight games to the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders were suddenly in the bottom half of the NFL in scoring offense. Over that same span, they weren’t even in the top 10 in passing yardage.

Luckily for the Raiders, one of the greatest deep-threat receivers of all time had just been granted his release from the Los Angeles Rams. Less than one week later, Jackson signed with Las Vegas.

Jackson has stopped with a few different teams around the NFL since his first stint with the Philadelphia Eagles ended after the 2013 season. His volume of receptions has decreased as he’s aged and he had some trouble with injury in his second stint with Philadelphia. But he’s consistently remained a deep threat throughout his career, and that’s exactly what was on the mind of the Raiders’ front office when they brought Jackson to the team a month ago.

He had limited action in his first two games in Las Vegas—just one target and one catch for 38 yards over two weeks—before breaking out in the Raiders’ Thanksgiving matchup in Dallas. After putting in work to learn the system and build chemistry with his quarterback in practice, Jackson lit up the Cowboys, just like old times. He finished with 102 yards and a touchdown on just three catches, pulling his average yardage down to “just” 35 yards per catch in his three games with Vegas.

Having a deep threat once again has done wonders for the Raiders and their offense. Carr’s 373 passing yards were his best since Week 3, and Hunter Renfrow—from his position in the slot—was able to take advantage of the Cowboys’ focus on defending Jackson. Renfrow put up career-high numbers with his eight receptions and 134 yards. Most importantly, Las Vegas got back in the win column to stop their losing streak at three games.

With Jackson finally integrated into the Las Vegas offense, they looked more like the team that had begun the season. They were finally able to air the ball out when they had opportunities to do so and it led to a huge win.

The Raiders (6-5) are now tied for second place in the AFC West with every team that isn’t the Kansas City Chiefs, and they’re just on the outside of the playoff bubble. Jackson’s breakout performance in Dallas showed how much of an influence he can have, with or without the ball. He’s the deep threat the Raiders have needed since Ruggs III’s departure and his presence alone has kept some of his fellow receivers open too. With three divisional games remaining in the home stretch, Las Vegas hopes he’ll continue to have that impact in the season’s final six weeks.

Filed In

Related Articles

Written By

The Draft Network