DeSean Jackson’s incredible punt return for the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the New York Giants remains one of the craziest finishes in the history of the NFL.
When you think of a game-winning play coming from the special teams, your first instinct is to think that it came from a field goal in the dying seconds or in over time. But when the Philadelphia Eagles met the New York Giants in week 15 of the 2010 NFL season, we were in for something far more special and spectacular.
And it seemed only fitting that it would be DeSean Jackson that would be the man to provide it, because for a while in the NFL whilst he was with the Eagles, there was arguably no player that was as electric or exciting to watch when it came to the wide receiver spot than him.
And as he would go on to prove to the Giants, his talent stretched way beyond what he was able to do whilst on offense, his mixture of speed and agility, clocked at 4.35 seconds doing the 40-yard dash at that year’s NFL Combine, made him lethal when it came to the return game as well.
DeSean has always been dangerous
Having been picked up by the Eagles in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Jackson made an impact straight away in the league, racking up 912 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns in his rookie season, whilst also putting in work in other areas of the team too, picking up a rushing touchdown and bagging a punt return touchdown too.
He continued to develop into his second year when he bagged the first of his five 1,000-yard seasons, increasing his touchdown count from 2 to 9 in the process and emerging as an incredible threat on the field which he followed up with yet another 1,000-yard season in 2010.
This year though would see the final of his touchdowns on special teams, but boy was it a special one.
‘The Miracle At The New Meadowlands’
With the scores level heading into the final few seconds of the game, Giants punter Matt Dodge punted a line drive kick that made it tricky for Jackson to initially control, fulbming the ball with Giants players rushing towards him. However he was able to remain calm, pick up the ball and use his speed to dance between a number of them before racing towards the end zone:
9 years ago today, Desean Jackson pulled off one of the most iconic plays in NFL history.— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) December 19, 2019
Shattering Giants fans’ hearts. pic.twitter.com/xtXFCKiwyl
He held up on the play because he wanted to make sure that there was no time left on the clock when all was said and done, which shows a level of genius in amongst the madness of a play like that.
The result would end up having huge ramifications, as it helped the Eagles clinch a playoff spot and knock their NFC East rival Giants out in the process, which helps to explain how Jackson and the play have managed to stay a part of Eagles folklore since then.