At an even 30 years old, wide receiver DeSean Jackson showed that he is still one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Along with a thousand-yard receiving year, Jackson displayed some incredible speed and skill.
On NFL.com's newly released Next Gen Stats, Jackson made the list for fastest ball carriers four times, and had the third fastest overall speed in the NFL. This stat shows a player's maximum speed (mph) he achieves on a play as a ball carrier.
Let's take a look back at some of Jackson's most explosive plays of 2016.
Week 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals**:
Jackson, on a seam route, caught a 59-yard pass to the Arizona 5-yard line. Jackson caught the ball going 22.60 mph. That play made DeSean Jackson the fastest ball carrier of the week and the third fastest of the entire season.
Week 14 vs. Philadelphia Eagles:
This is a play that everyone remembers. Jackson ran by the Eagles secondary for an 80-yard catch and run in Week 14's pivotal matchup. Jackson finished second on the Next Gen Stats list for that week, clocked at 21.48 mph and traveled a total of 91.16 yards on the play. The most impressive part of the play was his Willie Mays style catch while continuing to run at that ridiculous speed.
Week 12 vs. Dallas Cowboys:
On Thanksgiving, Jackson had an explosive 67-yard touchdown on a stop and go route. At 21.03 mph, the Cowboys secondary had no chance on his third touchdown of the year. He caught the ball with more than seven yards of separation from the closest defensive back.
Week 3 vs. New York Giants:
His final play from the list came in Week 3, when the Redskins earned their first victory of the year against the New York Giants. Jackson ran a deep post, timed at 20.95 mph, for a 44-yard touchdown, sparking the Redskins' comeback victory.
NextGen Stats also found Jackson was extremely good at finding separation on passes thrown his way.
Using a metric that measures the separation between the receiver and the defender on passes where they were targeted, Jackson ranked second in the league with 2.89 yards of separation at target.
Jackson was the only receiver that averaged more than 80 targets while also averaging 16 air yards per target. As NFL.com reports, Jackson's separation numbers were higher when lined up the slot, using his speed to streak across the field and find open space. When he lined up there, he made 12 catches with 219 yards.