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Eagles score 28 in fourth, stun Giants on last play
Question of the Day
The play unfolded when long snapper Zak DeOssie delivered a high snap, and Dodge was unable to do as instructed — kick the ball out of bounds. Even after Jackson fumbled the line-drive punt, the Giants were unable to tackle him.
“I was definitely looking out of bounds the whole way,” Dodge said. “I got the snap and tried to get it off quick. Not a good time to hit a line drive, that’s for sure.
“You can’t give the most explosive returner in the game a line drive in a situation like that.”
The fumble allowed Jackson’s blockers to create a seam, allowing him to run up the middle. At midfield, DeOssie had a chance to make up for his bad snap. He could have stopped Jackson. He could of surrounded him, allowing his teammates to converge. But Eagles receiver Jason Avant laid him out with a textbook block that could be used in a how-to film.
“When (he) first kicked, and I saw the low trajectory on the kick, I was saying to myself, ‘why would he kick it to DeSean?’” Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said. “It was all the way home from there. It was a great opportunity for DeSean out there battling through the game and getting a W.”
Once DeOssie was drilled, it was over. Jackson bolted toward the end zone. He slowed down at the 3, where he began to prance along the goal line into the left corner, before walking onto the blue painted turf and into the history books. For added measure, he threw the ball about 20 rows into the seats.
Dodge wasn’t the only one surprised.
“I haven’t had a big return or a return for a touchdown the whole season, so it was an honor to be in that situation,” Jackson said. “It was a blessing.”
When it was over, the Giants and their fans were in shock, and the Eagles were staring at a likely division title. The scene was surreal considering less than an hour before, they were down 31-10 with 8:17 left in the fourth quarter.
“By far, this is one of the greatest comebacks of my career, being down by such a huge deficit,” said Vick, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. “We were able to come back in a short period of time. It’s outstanding.”
Vick threw for 242 yards and ran for a game-high 130 in the win, which gave the Eagles a sweep of the season series with New York. They need to either win one of their final two home games (Minnesota or Dallas) or have New York lose one of its two road games (Green Bay or Washington) to capture the division.
The Giants dominated the opening half, outgaining the Eagles’ top-ranked offense 222-74. Vick was under constant pressure, sacked twice, hit about a half-dozen other times and limited to six completions for 33 yards. He also threw his fifth interception of the season.
Eli Manning was given time by his line and made the most of it early, leading New York on touchdown drives of 71, 73 and 8 yards, the last coming when receiver Jeremy Maclin lost a fumble late in the half and safety Kenny Phillips returned the ball to the Philadelphia 8 with :09 to go. Manning found Hakeem Nicks in the right corner 4 seconds later for a 24-3 halftime lead.
“This game is all about momentum. We had it in the first half. They had it in the second,” Giants center Shaun O’Hara said. “I don’t think there are enough words in the dictionary to describe how we feel right now.”
Manning finished with 289 yards passing and four touchdowns. Mario Manningham had eight catches for 118 yards and two scores. But it was all for naught in the loss, which clinched a playoff spot for Atlanta (12-2).
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