DeSean Jackson has shined in NFC East contests throughout his career, scoring 16 touchdowns against divisional foes.

Manning has enjoyed some success at FedEx Field, sporting a 6-4 record there during his career. The two-time Super Bowl MVP has tossed 10 touchdowns at the venue, the second-most among active players, trailing only Tony Romo (12).

DeSean Jackson has shined in NFC East contests throughout his career, scoring 16 touchdowns against divisional foes. That includes significant success against New York. Jackson has 11 receiving scores on 17.9 yards per reception against the Giants. He’s also added two rushing and three return touchdowns, including his famous 65-yard punt return against New York with no time remaining in 2010.

Jacksonville’s meltdown in D.C. catapults the Jaguars into first place in the season-long race for the most unprogressive offense, four Spike Factor percentage points worse than Philadelphia (COLLEGE OFFENSES HARUMPH HARUMPH). I’m starting to feel a little queasy.

The Spike Factor started out as a college football metric, and to see a team break 50 percent there was really, really rare, the kind of thing you usually only saw from the Purdues or Cals or Wake Forests of the 2012 world. This is not the comparison you want, Jacksonville. The NFL does not need its own Purdue. Purdue doesn’t even need its own Purdue.

Take this Tetanus Spike. Think about what you’re doing with your life, Jaguars. And for the love of god, bench Chad Henne.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS vs. Philadelphia Eagles (+5.5): I would probably be better off just taking the 49ers with a first half bet, and the Eagles with a second half bet. The 49ers lead the NFL in first half scoring, while the Eagles lead the NFL in second half scoring. The 49ers are coming off a pair of ugly second half collapses, and would seem likely to throw everything they can at the Eagles. While Philadelphia would love a fourth win, there is little pressure on them, particularly in an NFC East that is theirs for the taking.3

It seems that the ice has required more maintenance this season.

This week’s Big Question: What’s the ice like around the league compared with two years ago?

James van Riemsdyk, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs: “It’s been awful. I don’t know what it is. Even in our building this year. I thought it was really good [when we came] back for World Cup and right after that for the first little bit. But the last little bit, it’s been so bad. The puck’s all over the place. … I know we have a lot of events in here. I think they’re trying to fix some things and change some things. Both teams are playing on it, so it’s not an excuse [for players] in that regard. But for the sake of the product of the game — we talk about goal scoring and stuff like that — if you have a better ice surface and the puck isn’t bouncing around as much and guys can make plays, you would think that would be as good a reason as any to get more goals in the league. I know they’re working on it and they’re trying, but it hasn’t been good of late.”

The Lakers have inquired about the availability of Pacers star Paul George, right, according to sources, as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird now find themselves competitors in dueling front offices.

Johnson has wasted little time getting busy since he was handed control of basketball operations by Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss, quickly sealing a trade Tuesday afternoon with the Houston Rockets for a future first-round pick and veteran swingman Corey Brewer in exchange for high-scoring guard Lou Williams.

League sources told Stein that the Lakers were also seeking a quality second-round pick from teams interested in veteran shooting guard Nick Young.

Johnson addressed the Lakers’ players and coaches when they reported for Wednesday’s practice at 1 p.m. local time.

I do think he’s made strides in terms of his defensive discipline.

Lippett started five games at cornerback in 2011 then returned as the starter for the final three games of his Michigan State career.

“I’ve been playing wide receiver my whole life. My strengths include attacking the ball, and, I mean, I probably have strengths as a corner, too, but I haven’t played corner like that,” he conceded.

While he’s played receiver since youth football, Lippett started five games at cornerback in 2011 then returned as the starter for the final three games of his Michigan State career.

“Early on,” he said, “We had three or four senior wide receivers my freshman year. I played safety in high school, and Coach D (Dantonio) knew that. Coach D is a defensive back guy, so he moved me over there, and I just started to try to embrace the position. Try to learn the technique. Try to feel out my role as best that I could. So, I started to play it my freshman year, then it opened up again my senior year, the last three games. So I just tried to take it all in, have fun out there.”

As for McGee, I do think he’s made strides in terms of his defensive discipline. I’m skeptical of him as more than a fill-in starter, but I think the Warriors can reasonably enter the playoffs with him as the backup. If McGee struggles, coach Steve Kerr has the luxury of going smaller and sliding David West over to the middle, and naturally I’d expect more minutes from Draymond Green in the middle come the postseason. So I think Golden State is in fine shape at center.

What does Jabari Parker’s second ACL tear mean for his future, the Bucks’ long-term plans and the East playoff race? Kevin Pelton evaluates the impact.

Atlanta (Paul Millsap), Milwaukee (consider Giannis Antetokounmpo a 4 for these purposes), Minnesota (same with Karl-Anthony Towns), New Orleans (Anthony Davis) and Sacramento (DeMarcus Cousins) score well in the first category.

Roddy White would have fought Kyle Shanahan for not running the ball in the Super Bowl

Add former Falcons wide receiver Roddy White to the vast number of people who think Atlanta should have just run the dang ball in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI.

White didn’t pull any punches on the We Never Played the Game podcast hosted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Jeff Schultz and Zach Klein of Atlanta’s WSB-TV. He said he would have “literally” fought former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan over the play calling decisions that led to the loss.

The Falcons led 28-20 in the fourth quarter, and after catches by Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones, Atlanta found itself on the New England 22-yard line. After a run play for a loss of a yard on first down, Shanahan called a pass play. Ryan was sacked on a five-step drop, resulting in a loss of 12 yards and pushing the Falcons out of comfortable field goal range for Matt Bryant.

White said he told Jones that, had he been on the field for that second down, he would have jumped offsides on purpose to keep the play from happening.

“At that point, it’s second-and-16, you know they’re going to run the ball,” White said. “Or they’ll throw quick game (quick pass off a three-step drop). It wouldn’t be anything you can take a sack on.”

White did single out the former offensive coordinator for the play calls, but he also acknowledged that Shanahan shouldn’t bear the blame alone.

“As a coaching staff, you’re on the headset,” White said. “Nobody said, ‘Were going to run the ball three times.’”

There’s a history of conflict between White and Shanahan. White was vocal last season about his dissatisfaction with his role in the Falcons’ offense. His perspective hasn’t changed.

Manuel is all about an aggressive, attacking style

It was a down year for Eli Manning, and while the Giants still believe in him, don’t be surprised if they look for a quarterback in this year’s draft to groom as Eli’s eventual replacement. He’s 36 but likely has a few good years left. The Giants fixed the defense last season but now have to rebuild the offense around Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.

As with the rest of the Falcons, Manuel will enter the 2017 season with a bad taste in his mouth from the Super Bowl LI implosion in which Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead in a crushing, 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots. But at least Manuel knows he’ll have a talented group around him that in 2016 featured NFL sacks leader Vic Beasley Jr., emerging nose tackle Grady Jarrett, rookie standouts Deion Jones and Keanu Neal and Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant, who will return after missing the season’s second half following pectoral surgery.

The improved speed on defense, coupled with the presence of Trufant as a shutdown corner, will allow the Falcons to continue the trend of playing more man-to-man defense, as they did successfully later in the season.

Manuel’s ability to get the best out of his players was evident in the way cornerback Jalen Collins made a dramatic leap in his second season as a replacement for Trufant; in the way cornerback Robert Alford shook off problems with penalties to become a playmaker; in the way Brian Poole went from being undrafted to evolving into a reliable nickelback; and in the way Neal and Allen were able to work in unison at the safety spots.

Again, Manuel is all about an aggressive, attacking style. It’s in his nature as a former NFL strong safety. That’s the mentality and approach you see from him every day in practice. And that’s the look you’ll see in his eyes every game day.

Mizzou’s Shane Ray, Utah’s Nate Orchard and LSU’s Danielle Hunter come to mind.

This is playing things close to the vest when it comes to “need” and helping opposing teams project their needs, of course. Adding to that, the line between a 3-4 standup outside linebacker and a 4-3 edge rusher have somewhat blurred over the years.

You can have teams evaluate 4-3 ends as 3-4 backers, and visa versa, and it makes it tough to pinpoint scheme archetypes.

“A lot of times it opens it up for you,” said Pace. “Because there are a lot of undersized defensive ends in college who can stand up and play outside linebacker in the 3-4. So it’s exciting to me. I’ve been in both systems in New Orleans. We’ve been 4-3 and 3-4. So I think it opens up more players. Because there are undersized ends who can play that stand-up position and rush the quarterback from a two-point stance.”

Mizzou’s Shane Ray, Utah’s Nate Orchard and LSU’s Danielle Hunter come to mind.

As Pace pointed out, there’s some flexibility with what you can do at the traditional nose tackle position in a 3-4 as well.

“I think there’s a couple guys who can do it,” he said. “One of them’s done it before in Dallas. It doesn’t have to be this big, 350-pound space-eater. You can use him in a variety of ways.”

The Rams found their own version of DHB, albeit about six inches shorter. St. Louis traded up to the eighth spot in the draft in 2013 to get glorified punt returner Tavon Austin. Cornerback Brandon McGee, a fifth-round pick in 2013, has been reduced to a bit role and spent most of last year on IR. Chris Givens, a forth-round pick in 2012, had a promising rookie season, but quickly faded away in the Rams’ confused offense.

The award for most Davis-like picks goes to the Jets, who picked up a disappointing Stephen Hill in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. A year later they spent a first-round pick on the disappointing Milliner. A sixth-round pick last year, the Jets cut Brandon Dixon before the season started. The good news for the Jets is that they have a brand new coach and general manager making the picks this year.