Vincent Jackson comes up big late
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Receiver Vincent Jackson had a pedestrian two catches for 27 yards through three quarters on Sunday.
And then the fourth quarter happened.
Jackson’s two catches on the final possession of regulation helped power the Bucs to a victory on a day when the deep passing game that has been so consistent of late wasn’t effective.
Jackson caught a 17-yard pass on third-and-4 with 32 seconds remaining, outdoing himself seconds later with his 24-yard touchdown reception. Not to be forgotten was the 2-point conversion pass he caught to ultimately tie the score and send the game to overtime.
Jackson chose not to take a bow, instead deferring the credit to Freeman on the touchdown pass.
“We call that a dime,” Jackson said. “He dropped a dime right there. That’s a window that only a few quarterbacks in this league can hit, and he did.”
On the touchdown, Jackson was lined up in the slot, and the Bucs correctly predicted the way the Panthers would defend the play.
“We knew the safety was going to be split, we knew the linebacker was going to run underneath me, and it was going to be a high ball up over his head,” Jackson said.
It was prophetic. Freeman put the ball over linebacker Luke Kuechly’s head and Jackson skillfully went high to snatch it.
Jackson, gleefully looking around at his teammates celebrating in a joyous locker room, said the win was the result of a season-long effort.
“With all the work we put in, these are the ones that really just show you if you believe and buy in, you’ll get the results that you want,” he said.