They’ll never match up against one another and never be on the field at the same time, yet more than likely, comparisons about the production of DeSean Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald will be made. Before it’s all said and done, each will have their say in the outcome of Sunday’s contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. The top receivers each play integral roles in the success of their respective offenses, and seeing the importance of the game for both teams, it will surely raise the stakes as far as taking the spotlight is concerned.
Fitzgerald will undoubtedly have the easier matchup against an improving but still mediocre Philadelphia secondary. Coming off a two touchdown performance in Week 12, Fitzgerald will look to continue his success and build on the connection with quarterback Carson Palmer, all while continuing to solidify Arizona’s hold on the playoff outlook. Philadelphia will need to get plenty of pressure on Palmer all day to make it possible for the secondary to deal with one of the best receivers in the game and a consummate professional in Fitzgerald.
On the other side of the ball, Jackson will probably find things a bit more difficult. The Cardinals own a top 10 overall defense and blitz as much as any team in football. Much of the reason for this is because of the trust and reliability they have in their secondary. Nick Foles will be shouldered with finding Jackson early and keeping him involved for the majority of the day, forcing Arizona to change coverage and providing more time behind center. Jackson came up big earlier in the season, scoring two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who also employ a strong pass defense. Another such performance this weekend would go a long way to helping the Eagles control their own fate and putting another win in the standings.
When all is said and done, looking back, the two receivers could quickly become the main attraction of a highly anticipated matchup of playoff hopefuls. They’ve each succeeded on the big stage before, and both teams are desperately in need of the best from their key contributors, attempting to stamp their ticket to the postseason.