After the New York Giants stunning meltdown in a 38-31 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Giants coach Tom Coughlin said “I’ve never been around anything like this in my life. It’s about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there.”
Fact is, no one has ever been around anything like what happened at the end of the game. That is because before DeSean Jackson returned a Matt Dodge punt 65 yards to win the game for Philadelphia (10-4) as time expired no one had ever returned a punt for a game-winning score on the final play of a game.
“It wasn’t rocket science not to kick it to him with 12 seconds left, but sometimes you don’t execute as well as you’d like,” Dodge said. “Sometimes you try so hard to do something – get it out of bounds – and you just lose your head. And that’s kind of what happened.”
Jackson was not expecting to be given an opportunity to return the ball.
“It’s a blessing, it’s a dream come true. Actually sitting back there looking at 12 seconds right before the referee came back and put the extra two seconds on, not that it mattered or whatever but I’m just sitting back there and thinking to myself like ‘they’re really not going to kick it to me,’ " Jackson said. “t got to me and I fumbled it so I guess that kind of bought me some time to kind of set it up and do what I had to do.”
Giants safety Deon Grant said the blame should fall on a defense that failed to hold a 31-10 lead with eight minutes to go, not on the rookie punter.
“It should have never come down to him kicking the ball. So he doesn’t have any reason to hang his head. Point no fingers at him. It’s on the defense,” Grant said. “The score was 31-10, eight minutes left, it isn’t his fault. I don’t even know why you all are interviewing (him). You all should be up there on the defense.”