DeSean Jackson provided one of the NFL plays of the year with his 65-yard punt return as time expired to lead the Eagles over the Giants today. But he could have provided one of the blunders of the year.
Jackson initially muffed the punt at the 35-yard line, and if the Giants had been able to cover it, they would have had time for a long field goal attempt or a Hail Mary, and it could have been the Giants winning the game on the last play. Jackson said after the game that he was scared for a split second when he dropped the ball, but he actually thinks it put him in a better position to find a path to the end zone.
“When I dropped the ball, I panicked real quickly,” Jackson said at his post-game press conference. “It was probably a good thing because when I panicked I was able to locate the ball and it was maybe a foot or two away from me and when I grabbed the ball I went one way and when I looked up I saw a crease and I just shot through that crease. I made a couple of little moves and I saw someone try to take a dive at me so I kind of just kicked my feet up and from there.”
While Jackson was the game’s hero, he knows that Giants punter Matt Dodge was the goat for kicking the ball to him. Giants coach Tom Coughlin chewed Dodge out on the field after the game.
“Somebody told me that Coach Coughlin ran on the field and tried to get his kicker because he was just so pissed that his kicker punted the ball to me,” Jackson said. “That just shows how mad he was at that punter.”
In the future, it’s probably safe to say that every punter who plays the Eagles will be instructed to kick the ball away from Jackson.