Praising Pierre Garcon because somebody should

Though no longer the headliner among Washington's receiving options, Pierre Garcon continues churning out production for the Redskins.

Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson have gotten a lot of attention for their performance on offense this year for the Redskins, and all of them deserve it. However, a man who’s been a bit forgotten in 2015, and I feel shouldn’t be, is Pierre Garcon.

Now, #88 doesn’t have anywhere near the catches or yards that Reed has (14 less grabs and 179 less yards than the tight end) and his yards-per-catch average is pedestrian compared to Jackson’s (10.6 as opposed to 17.6). But the 8th-year-pro has been as steady as ever in his fourth season with the team, and most franchises would be lucky to have a second receiver as skilled and reliable as Garçon, who is still posting very admirable numbers (69 catches, 728 yards, and five scores).

Of course, when called upon, he can still make the spectacular play. Take his game-winning snag against the Eagles in Week 4, the jump ball he won over a Bills corner a few games ago or the victory-sealing, toe-tapping touchdown he hauled in from Cousins on Saturday in Philadelphia. He was brought in to be the No. 1 option in 2012, and he led the NFL in receptions in 2013. The guy is without a doubt a playmaker. That will always be in his blood.

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But with Cousins playing as well as he has, and with Reed and Jackson providing the quarterback with so many options, he doesn’t get the chance to produce as much as he did during his first few years in D.C. That slight drop in targets and numbers has led some to, in my opinion, undervalue Garçon. That’s wrong, and needs to stop now.

Aside from Trent Williams, no one is as competitive on the field as him. Aside from Reed, no one has hands as sure him. And if you had to choose one guy to get past a defender with the ball in his hands and into the end zone, I’m not sure there’s a choice better than him. His toughness, willingness to block, unselfishness to back out of the spotlight and not complain — and ability to come through when it’s shifted back on to him — has been invaluable throughout 2015.

Soon, though, this memorable run will end. After matching up with the Cowboys, the Redskins will enter the postseason, where it’s one and done. Roster decisions will then have to be made, and Garçon is one guy who could very well be moving on from the nation’s capital. And if he does, a lot of people will start to miss him. Make sure you take a moment to appreciate the veteran now, before it’s too late. He deserves it.

Follow Peter Hailey on Twitter at @barelyin.

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