DeSean Jackson is back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season, and this postseason may represent his final chance to win a Super Bowl.
Jackson joined the Raiders in November after he was granted his release from the Los Angeles Rams in order to seek a team that would give him a larger role. His workload with the Raiders has been inconsistent, as he saw just eight snaps and zero targets during the team's instant-classic Week 18 win over the Chargers.
However, the 35-year-old has still flashed the explosiveness that's made him one of the great deep threats in NFL history at times in 2021. Between the Rams and Raiders, Jackson has just 20 catches this season, but he's still managed to rack up 454 yards, giving him an average of 22.7 yards per reception.
As the Raiders look to upset a big-play Bengals offense led by Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, it's possible they'll end up in a shootout. And even at this advanced stage of his career, Jackson remains one of the better home run hitters in the sport.
Even though he's accumulated more than 11,000 receiving yards in parts of 14 NFL seasons, Jackson hasn't won a postseason game since his rookie season of 2008. That year, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, before falling to Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals 32-25 in the NFC Championship Game. To his credit, Jackson had six catches, 92 yards and a touchdown with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, but it wasn't enough to overcome a three-touchdown performance from Fitzgerald.
To give you an idea of how long it has been since Jackson last won a playoff game, Donovan McNabb was the Eagles quarterback and Andy Reid was the team's head coach the last time he was victorious in the playoffs, a 23-11 win over the Giants at the old Giants Stadium. Among Jackson's other teammates in that game were Brian Dawkins, Asante Samuel, Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter and David Akers. It's been a minute.
Since his rookie season, Jackson has played in just four postseason games, all of which have been losses. In what turned out to be McNabb's final game as an Eagle, the 2009 team was throttled 34-14 in Dallas. The Eagles lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers 21-16 in the NFC Wild Card Round in 2010. In 2013, Jackson and the Chip Kelly-led Eagles lost 26-24 to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card Round. Jackson's most recent playoff game came in 2015, when he was a member of the Washington Football team, who lost 35-18 to the Packers in the Wild Card Round.
Six years after his last postseason game, Jackson and the Raiders will enter Paul Brown Stadium as six-point underdogs. As a franchise, the Raiders are looking for their first postseason win since the 2002 AFC Championship Game.