Why DeVonta Smith felt like Michael Jackson on his touchdown


In back-to-back weeks, Eagles rookie DeVonta Smith has made spectacular catches along the sideline.

Which one was better?

“I would say the one today was better,” Smith said. “Just because I was going backwards. I kind of felt like Michael Jackson.”

Well, it was a thriller.

Smith finished his day with five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles' 34-10 win. He also had a tremendous 46-yarder, a new career-high earlier in the game. But it’s his ability to catch the ball along the sideline and get his feet in bounds that has been so impressive.

Just like last week, the play was reviewed. And just like last week, the officials came back with the same determination: Smith caught it.

That’s just what he does.

READ: Eagles' grades after win over Giants

It’s pretty remarkable to see a rookie in the NFL to have that type of awareness and body control to make those types of catches consistently. Heck, last year, he needed to get just one foot down in college for those catches to count.

And to hear Smith talk about it, you would think it isn’t a big deal. “It’s kind of my thing,” he said.

It’s kind of a good thing to be able to do. And on Sunday his touchdown put the game out fo reach.

“That’s a big-time play and a big time moment in the game,” Jalen Hurts said. “That’s two weeks in a row he’s made big-time, toe-tapping plays dragging that foot. It’s something we practice all the time, we preach all the time. DeVonta may be in his first year, but he’s a true pro in how he prepares and the different things that may come up in the game. Big-time play.”


Through 15 games, Smith has 58 catches for 821 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s quietly climbing the Eagles’ rookie record book:

1. DeSean Jackson (2008) — 912

2. Jordan Matthews (2014) — 872

3. Keith Jackson (1988) — 869

4. Charle Young (1973) — 854

5. DeVonta Smith (2021) — 821

6. Jeremy Maclin (2009) — 773

Smith passed Maclin on Sunday afternoon and is on pace to break Jackson’s record that has stood for over a decade.

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But what makes Smith’s accomplishments even more impressive is the way he’s doing it. He’s making plays that are normally reserved for veterans in this league.

“He's a technician,” Sirianni said. “The guy loves football and wants to be better at football and we know that a guy can go from here to here because of the technique he plays with, and so DeVonta works endless hours to do that.

Again, he had a catch like that last week where he dragged the foot from behind. Great job to (Eagles WRs coach) Aaron Moorehead drilling that as well. I know he drills that every single day. Then DeVonta obviously playing with great technique.”