By Annie Ross
Making his Redskins debut in yesterday’s 17-6 loss to Houston, DeSean Jackson was simply a Yards After Catch guy.
The Redskins threw him quick passes behind the line of scrimmage and asked him to make the first guy miss, which he typically did. Surprisingly, there weren’t any deep shots to Jackson — probably because Robert Griffin III had J.J. Watt in his grill the whole game.
The Redskins brought in free agent wide receiver Jackson to provide the big-play element that has been missing from the team for a number of years. He didn’t provide any of that in his debut with the team but he did have a reasonably productive day.
Jackson, who signed a three-year, $24 million contract last spring after the Eagles released him, caught eight passes for 62 yards against the Texans. That average of 7.7 yards per catch is not what the Redskins were looking for.
It took him a while to get going. At halftime he had five receptions but had gained only 16 yards. Three of the passes he caught ended up being for no gain. Jackson also took the ball to try to run an end around but that got blown up in the backfield for a loss of nine.
But things got going better in the second half. RG3 found him for 17, 13, and 16 yards.
Jackson led the NFL last year in scrimmage plays of 20 yards or more with 25 but he got none today. One obvious reason was that Watt and the rest of the Houston defense was applying relentless pressure on RG3, rarely leaving him time to find Jackson on anything resembling a deep pass. Also, coach Jay Gruden said after the game that Houston played mostly soft coverage in the secondary that focused on taking away the long ball.