In search of help at wide receiver, the Las Vegas Raiders opted to bring in Desean Jackson. In his first game action, the results were not great.
Jackson was brought to Las Vegas to give the Raiders more speed with the loss of Henry Ruggs III. Although he is 34, the former Pro Bowler can still fly. The tricky part of this situation was that the Raiders could not afford to wait for Jackson to get ready. That led to him being inserted into the offense just a week after he was signed. As such, he played just nine snaps on Sunday night.
Among these nine snaps, many of them involved him blocking. On the pass plays, he was on the field and did what everyone expected: go deep. Fortunately for the Raiders, he did this at a high level. One of the underrated parts of having a player with Jackson’s speed is how much it helps everyone else. That was evident in the reception from Zay Jones in the second half, where he was able to pick up the first down. On this play, Jackson ran a deep post route to carry the defender and Jones ran a dig route into the vacated area. That is a well-designed play that the Raiders will likely look to run more of as the season progresses.
On the stat sheet, it says Jackson had one reception for 38 yards. Of course, this does not tell the whole story. The play asked Jackson to run a deep over route off of play-action where Carr delivered him a beautiful pass, and he secured a nice catch. Then the wheels fell off. So what looked like a sure touchdown turned out not to be so. Jackson inexplicably turned the other way, got wrapped up, and fumbled the ball back to the Chiefs. It was a huge momentum swing in the game, and the Raiders couldn’t recover, and Jackson’s night was over.
What on earth is Desean Jackson doing?
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) November 15, 2021
Aside from the game-altering, bone-headed fumble, Jackson wasn’t that bad! Asked to come in and save the Raiders offense, he did his job as “the speed guy.” Las Vegas still needs him. As he can learn more of Greg Olson’s offense, watch for him to keep making plays. Another part of the equation is earning Derek Carr’s trust. History has shown us this is not an easy thing to earn ad that fumble may have cost him. Alas, Jackson is a necessary part of this Raiders team if they hope to make the playoffs. For “DJax,” things won’t get much worse in the Silver and Black.
*Top Photo: Matt Aguirre/Las Vegas Raiders