Big Blue Blow Up: DeSean Jackson Sends New York Giants a Crucial NFC East Blow

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants walks off the field dejected after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 38-31  on December 19, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

No worries. 

Two simple words expressed by DeSean Jackson following his incredible 65-yard punt return late in the forth quarter this Sunday, which gave the New York Giants one meaningful loss as the postseason gradually draws closer.

Who said the NFC East is boring?

Down 24-3 heading into the first half break, the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves in an unusual jam on Sunday afternoon, as Michael Vick and Andy Reid's boastful young offense only managed to kick a single field goal in the first two quarters of play.

Luckily, that disappointing rut took a turn for the best as the fourth quarter approached.

Clawing back from a first-half deficit that looked as dismal as it did dull, the Eagles managed to pile on the points in the final quarter, despite Eli Manning's constant connection with new go-to wide receiver Mario Manningham.

First, Michael Vick took care of the dirty work, hitting the quietest man on the field, tight end Brent Celek, for a 65-yard touchdown pass with 8:10 left on the clock. Not to be forgotten, however, David Akers's following onside kick then granted the Eagles a second possession, which would soon lead to more points.

Pulling off his second miracle, Michael Vick's handy footwork came into good use as the Eagles tried to pull it back to within a touchdown. 

Out of the pocket play, and short bullet passes to any open wide receiver, the Eagles then found themselves on the Giants' goal line, and more importantly, on the verge of a 4-yard touchdown run by Vick to send the scoreboard to 31-24.

Last but not least, the fat lady hadn't sung without star wide receiver Jeremy Maclin catching the ball. Another Eagles drive, another Eagles pass, and a 7-yard rainbow to Maclin knotted up the scoreboard with the Giants taking over possession.

The following sequence of plays is both forgettable and memorable for either franchise.

A three-and-out was the least favorable scenario for the New York Giants, and even though Tom Coughlin stressed how important it was for his team to run some clock, two incomplete passes and an Eli Manning sack was the fate of a sloppy Big Blue offense.

Luckily, Manning's sack did manage to expire a lengthy amount of time on the clock.  On the unfortunate side mind you, 14 seconds were left standing -- just enough time for DeSean Jackson to work his magic.

And what magic it was.

Shaky and questionably talented punter Matt Dodge made his way onto the field, after undergoing a lengthy lecture from Tom Coughlin on the sidelines.  How did the rookie punter perform?

Undesirably poor, kicking a line drive straight to DeSean Jackson's waiting palms, and then missing a wide open tackle as No.10 blew right by him for the game-winning touchdown.

It was a day to forget for Big Blue, as the Giants let a major lead slip in the space of eight minutes. More to the point, however, New York now finds itself a game behind the pace in the NFC East with two crucial games approaching in the next fortnight.

Amongst the game notes that are sure to be criticized from pillar to post in the upcoming week, Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham was one of few shining lights to appear during this game.

Responsible for 112 yards and two touchdowns, the Manning-to-Manningham connection seemingly allowed New York faithfuls to forget about the loss of Steve Smith sustained during last week, and at least maintain some aspect of hope with the days dwindling down.

As for Philadelphia, well, the more said, the better. Michael Vick can't be grounded, and neither can the three-headed duo of Brent Celek, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, who combined for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day.

Those of you who are focusing on DeSean Jackson's punt return, though, don't forget about David Akers, whose precise onside kick was the number one reason for the Eagles' scoring pattern that unfolded late in the fourth quarter.

Neither team started off pretty on Sunday, as it took each side two consecutive series to produce a first down in the opening quarter. Perhaps this is a concern with the playoffs approaching, and considering that the NFC features a ton of raw talent, neither the Eagles or Giants are a shoo-in to have a comfortable postseason campaign.

If one thing and one thing only was highlighted on Sunday though, it was that this rivalry is still alive and well. Two weeks in a row, DeSean Jackson has remained cocky against his opponents, and after scoring a miracle touchdown a week ago, this past Sunday only makes the faint "MVP" chants heard all that more noticeable.

New York isn't down and out, but this is a loss that is sour yet sweet at the same time.  A slap in the face was needed for the Giants at this point in the season, and with the injury bug still biting, New York needs to now focus on its trip to Lambeau Field in Week 16.

Big Blue blew a huge lead, yes, but it isn't the end of the world. While that is the truth, it may just be the start of the Eagles Super Bowl run.


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Ryan Cook is an Australian Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also a guest writer on PackerChatters, and a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk and Gack Sports.