December 20 Philadelphia Inquirer:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Michael Vick asked the question that the New York Giants and their fans will be muttering to themselves for years to come.
“Why would he kick it to DeSean?”
But that’s exactly what Giants punter Matt Dodge did.
DeSean Jackson did all the rest.
The wide receiver – kept in check for nearly the entire game – fielded a short, line-drive punt from Dodge and miraculously raced 65 yards for the winning touchdown as time expired to give the Eagles an improbable, mind-boggling, there-isn’t-an-adjective-suitable-enough-to-describe-this 38-31 win over the Giants on Sunday.
Amazingly, the Eagles roared back after the Giants took a 31-10 lead with 8 minutes, 17 seconds left in the game.
In nearly three seasons, Jackson has provided a highlight reel of great plays that would fill a career, but his dash for the ages at New Meadowlands Stadium goes straight to the top. It will be a part of Eagles lore as long as Philadelphians love football and can go by only one name: “The Miracle at the New Meadowlands.”
“You know, I can’t name another one of these,” a Gatorade-drenched Andy Reid said in the postgame interview room. “This is a special one. I mean this is exciting. This was exciting for you guys. . . . Shoot, it’s a great day to be a Philadelphia writer.”
The original “Miracle at the Meadowlands” occurred 32 years ago at old Giants Stadium. The Giants were ahead and running out the clock when quarterback Joe Pisarcik fumbled a handoff to Larry Csonka. Herman Edwards scooped up the ball and darted 26 yards for the winning score. Giants fans simply refer to it as “The Fumble.”
This miracle was bigger, though. The Eagles and Giants entered the showdown tied atop the NFC East at 9-4. A win would be a gigantic step toward the playoffs and a loss a massive step back, considering how the conference has played out this season.
The Eagles now own a one-game lead over New York, with home games against the 5-8 Vikings and the 5-9 Cowboys remaining. They control their destiny and could lock up a No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye if they win out.
The punt return was unbelievable for so many reasons. Most notably, there was the comeback. The Eagles rallied for three straight touchdowns behind a determined Vick to tie the score at 31 with 1:16 to go.
It was remarkable that Jackson was even out there to field the punt. He missed most of practice last week because of a foot sprain and didn’t return punts for most of the game.
But when the Eagles‘ defense held the Giants to three plays after the visitors knotted the score, Reid beckoned his receiver.
“He whistled, and I looked up because you know that whistle is from Coach Reid,” Jackson said. “And he said, ‘Get your butt back there.’ So I went back there, and even when I’m on the field . . . he keeps whistling at me. He’s whistling and whistling, and I’m looking at him on the sideline. He said, ‘Look it in. Look it in. Make sure you’re good.’ I’m like, ‘Coach, I got this, man.’ ”
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