Jackson shines even in pain
By the sheer numbers, Vincent Jackson didn’t have a particularly memorable game Sunday. But if you watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 27-6 victory against Buffalo, you knew he had made a significant impact. All three of Jackson’s catches came on the same critical first-quarter drive as the Bucs opened a 14-3 advantage and were never threatened.
Jackson was hobbled by a hamstring injury during the week and was listed as questionable, but he played through pain and ended up gaining 70 yards to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in both of his seasons in Tampa. Jackson is the first Bucs receiver to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Joey Galloway, who posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2005-07. Jackson has five 1,000-yard seasons in his career.
“He’s battled through being hurt, coming out here and playing his butt off,” left tackle Donald Penn said of Jackson, who has drawn additional attention since Mike Williams was sidelined for the season by a hamstring tear in October. “You can’t ask for more from a guy who is out there playing hurt and had the type of game he had. He’s having a Pro Bowl season and he’s kind of getting overshadowed.’’
The Bucs began their third drive of the game at the Tampa Bay 20-yard line. Jackson grabbed a 10-yard pass from Mike Glennon before outleaping Leodis McKelvin for a 22-yard reception in front of the Tampa Bay bench on third-and-7.
On third-and-14 from the Buffalo 38, Glennon was flushed out of the pocket and rolled right before launching a desperation pass downfield. Despite pass interference by rookie corner Nickell Robey, Jackson came down with the ball for a touchdown as Tampa Bay declined the penalty. “Vincent really showed up — again,’’ Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. “Just big-boy football, in that end zone, getting that defender off. The guy held him, almost dragged him down, but he still caught it.’’
Jackson was initially credited with another touchdown catch when he reached up for a 14-yard strike from Glennon late in the third quarter near the back line of the end zone. After a review, the original call was reversed because it was ruled Jackson didn’t have both feet down inbounds. “I can’t wait to see it on TV, the one in the back of the end zone,” Schiano said.