In DeSean Jackson's Absence, Jeremy Maclin and Other Eagles Must Step Up

Jeremy Lookabaugh Correspondent IOctober 22, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17:  DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles is helped off the field after being  laid out by Dunta Robinson #23 of the Atlanta Falcons during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 17, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Both players were injured on the play and had to be helped off the field.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Hit on DeSean Jackson

Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson suffered a "serious concussion" Sunday after being hit by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson.

Jackson was motionless, flat on the turf. Robinson was just as immobile next to the injured receiver.

Both players eventually got up off the field and were helped into the locker rooms. Jackson suffered a concussion and Robinson a head injury.


Stats Before the Injury

Before the injury, Jackson seemed virtually unstoppable in helping the Eagles jump out to an early 14-0 lead. He gained 78 yards on three first-quarter touches, scoring on a 34-yard run and a 31-yard pass from Kevin Kolb.


Who Will Step Up

Receiver Jeremy Maclin showed he was ready to make an immediate impact in the absence of Jackson. Maclin caught seven passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons.

The former Missouri Tiger caught touchdown passes of 8 and 83 yards, he helped Philadelphia improve to 4-2, tied for the NFC's best record while also snapping Atlanta's four-game winning streak.

"Anytime you lose any guy in your offense, especially somebody like that, everybody has to step up and have a good game," Maclin said. "We have playmakers all around our offense. Today was just a day when I got a lot of balls. We always look for ways to give ourselves an advantage over our opponent."

Maclin has caught 25 passes this season for 416 yards and six touchdowns, none bigger than the two he caught with Jackson out of the lineup.

Running back LeSean McCoy will ultimately receive more carries with the injury to Jackson, along with more receptions.

McCoy has rushed for 429 yards this season with five touchdowns on just 89 attempts. That is an average of 4.8 yards per carry. He also has the most receptions on the team with 32 for 239 yards.

Tight end Brent Celek is another impact player that the Eagles will count on to produce in the absence of Jackson. Celek is a versatile playmaker who has caught 19 passes for 221 yards this season. He is a strong target for whomever Andy Reid puts at quarterback.


Kevin Kolb

Kolb has put up some incredible numbers while taking over for the injured Michael Vick the last three weeks.

He threw for 201 yards after replacing Vick, who suffered a rib injury in a Week 3 loss to the Washington Redskins.

The Eagles are riding a two-game winning streak, largely due to the success of Kolb. In a win against the struggling San Francisco 49ers, Kolb threw for 253 yards and a touchdown, compiling a quarterback rating of 103.3.

Last week against the Falcons, he completed 23 of 29 pass attempts for 326 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. He had a QB rating of 133.3.


Upcoming Schedule

The Eagles have a brutal schedule whether Jackson is cleared to play or not. They travel to Tennessee this week and then take on the Indianapolis Colts the following week.

The Eagles still have to play divisional rivals the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys twice. At 4-2, winners of three-straight games, the Giants are looking like the Super Bowl team of a couple years ago, and Dallas will be playing every game like it is a playoff game with their 1-4 record.